August 8th, 2012
Cookie-based voter-file targeted ads (like those getting scarce in battleground states) aren’t the only arrow in the digital advertiser’s quiver: Mitt Romney’s now trying to connect with voters via Pandora internet radio, too. ProPublica reports:
North Carolina resident Crystal Harris was listening to Garth Brooks’ “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)” when an ad appeared on her iPhone screen, followed by a pop-up message.
“To help Mitt Romney become the next president, Romney for President, Inc would like to use your email address — tap OK to let Pandora share this info,” the message read.
Of course, not everyone’s going to enjoy having a presidential candidate appear to peer into their playlist; Ms. Harris promptly retaliated:
Harris took a screenshot of the request and tweeted it with a one-word comment: #fail.
Not all targeting is perfect, obviously, and it’s interesting to wonder whether it was Harris’s location or her musical choice (or both) that earned her the Romney ad she wasn’t looking for. But Pandora’s been pitching itself to political advertisers for some time now (I believe I went to a lunch presentation they held for political ad firms a couple of years ago), and we’ve predicted in these pages that the campaigns will turn to internet radio in part because of its high degree of targetability. Here’s a hint: if you can think of a digital tool, someone somewhere is likely at least trying to put it to a political use in 2012. The magic lies in figuring out which tools give you the best rate of return for which purposes…which is why you read Epolitics.com, right?