NPR Interview: The Advent of Micro-Targeted Online Political Ads

This morning I had the privilege of chatting with the folks at NPR/PRI’s “The Takeaway” for a bit. The subject? Political ad microtargeting, which handily was one of the subjects of a recent Campaigns and Elections “Technology Bytes” piece. We only had a few minutes to talk, but we got to cover a little bit about how campaigns build target profiles to reach individual voters with messages tailored for them — at least in theory. We also touched on some of the limitations of the technology, which has the potential to leave some votes on the table and also can hit the point of diminishing returns fairly quickly. Listen here, and tell me what you think — as I write this, I’m in the Austin, Texas airport on a slow connection and haven’t been able to check it out for myself!


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Colin Delany
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  • Great interview Colin. Here is a recent article on how the newly elected Mayor of Rapid City, South Dakota used highly targeted Facebook ads to beat the incumbent. They used different ads for people aged 18 (first time voters) and 29 other different demographic groups. Pretty impressive!