Political Net Ads Low in 06

    November 8, 2006

Industry analysts have been watching the worldwide web closely over the past few months to see how political ads fared in Election ’06. Surprisingly, it appears that many politicians do not see the value in paying for Internet advertising.

It doesn’t have anything to do with the cost of placing ads on the Net because they are downright affordable when compared to what it can cost for prime time television ads and even local TV commercials that are placed in a decent slot.

Everyone would naturally assume that politicians would fully embrace the worldwide web and all the cutting age ways a person can promote their cause. Everyone from rock stars to teenagers looking for attention are using places like Myspace and Youtube to promote their views and gain some sort of coveted notoriety. Even in freebie areas like this, politicians didn’t seem to have the presence that they could have.

Politicians somehow haven’t realized that Internet presence numbers not only are comparable in reach to TV ads, but with the Net, they will be reaching out and connecting with the much-coveted younger voters that are sometimes more difficult to reach.

The Rimm-Kaufman Group, LLC completed a study that had some very interesting results. They observed political advertising during the final hours of the ’06 elections and came up with some surprising conclusions: Political pay-per-click advertisers preferred using Google, most of them staying away from Yahoo. Search page results for most candidates returned less than four ads per candidate. Republicans were more likely to bash Democrats in their ads but the Democratic ads focused mainly on all the negative things that their competitors had done while being in office.

One oddity included the fact that very few political ads actually linked to videos, which is very perplexing considering how popular streaming videos now are on the Net.

It’s obvious that political advertising on the Internet is in the very early stages and will most definitely grow in the future. As a matter of fact, the Rimm-Kaufman Group stated that “political advertising on search engines is still in its infancy.”

This will no doubt include more use of streaming video and more search engine marketing.


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Tim Ritter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.