In case you missed it, TubeMogul’s CEO Brett Wilson shared his thoughts with the UK publication The Wall (part of Brand Republic) today on lessons learned from being a top resource for media buying of video ads in the 2012 U.S. election. Posted below for clients worldwide.
Of digital ad spending, a good portion went to video ads
This is not surprising given video’s persuasion power and campaigns’ long preference for television advertising. According to the U.S. Federal Elections Commission, $78.2 million was spent on digital advertising for the candidates. Real-time buying by agencies on TubeMogul’s video advertising platform accounted for 8.3% of that total according to our research. Others, like Hulu and YouTube, saw significant shares of spending.
Digital surveys playing a bigger role
Campaigns are leveraging online surveys to inform ad buys in real-time, measuring change in intent of viewers that saw ads. These surveys, typically used to measure lift in things like purchase consideration for brands, may eventually challenge offline surveys as they get more sophisticated. An example: 48 hours leading up to the election we used TubeMogul’s Brandsights survey technology to ask voters in the key state of Ohio who they planned to vote for, successfully predicting the winner within 1.1% of the actual results — all for £155.87 in survey gathering cost.
Voter files meet digital targets
The top agencies are combining real-time surveys, voter files and retargeting people based on previous behavior, customizing messages to reach the right voter with the right message. This level of targeting is rarely done by brand marketers.
Hyper-Customization and retargeting work
While reliable Democrats watch ads that focus on getting out the vote, for instance, swing voters hear a different message. Email campaigns are similarly customized, with organizers getting emails urging them to volunteer, for instance.
Advertising is increasingly real-time
We obviously bring an agenda to this, but exchange-based buying, particularly in video, saw “significant investment,” according to Targeted Victory. Real-time buying of video is in many ways custom-tailored to political campaigns, who by nature have to shift tactics in minutes. The results let them tweak regions, creative mix, sites and audiences that are seeing an ad based on real-time survey and performance data.
Paid media and earned media mesh
A video designed to be watched organically on YouTube (i.e. a speech) that does well can be turned into an pre-roll ad — and vice versa. Many views for YouTube videos come from featuring the video in a targeted email blast to supporters.
Everything is on the record (and that’s a good thing)
Often a lamented aspect of modern campaigns since it leads to gaffes being recorded; this can be turned to a candidate’s advantage, too. A video splicing lines from a speech that resonated with an audience (or, in the case of an opponent, did poorly) can easily be turned into a digital video ad.