Digital Targeting Helps Montana Dems Reach Voters Likely to be Hurt by Obamacare Repeal

Dems are running targeted ads ahead of Montana's special election

Cool stuff on the digital advertising front today: the Montana Democratic Party is using DSPolitical’s voter models and targeting ability to put ads like this one in front of Montana voters who could lose health coverage if Republicans repeal Obamacare.

The ad variants I’ve seen echo this messaging, but in different sizes for different placements. Montana Dems aren’t skimping on the spend:

The targeting of these voters is part of a five-figure digital ad buy (ad samples: 1234) that includes banner, Facebook, and pre-roll video ads exposing Republican nominee Greg Gianforte (R-MT) for trying to have it both ways on healthcare reform.

To put that in context, assuming a reasonably standard $12-$13 CPM (cost per thousand), even a $10,000 ad buy would include over 800,000 individual ad impressions (less if many are video ads, which typically cost about twice as much as banners). Depending on how many people Montana Dems are actually targeting, some recipients may see these ads non-stop between now and Thursday’s special election to fill Ryan Zinke’s House seat. And since DSPolitical’s ads run through exchanges rather than individual websites, people will see them all over the place online, not just on specific websites.

Also note that these ads follow other recent targeted ad campaigns launched by Democrats and aligned groups, which we covered earlier this month. In those cases, the targeted voters live in districts currently held by House Republicans, whose vote(s) to kill Obamacare could put them at risk in 2018 and 2020.

I’ve long argued that Democrats need to run long-term persuasion ads aimed at specific segments of Donald Trump’s base, targeting them via internet cookie, IP number or other means. While it’s good to see Montana Dems embracing the idea before this week’s election, Democratics and their allies need to work the long game, too. DSPolitical will be happy to help: “Beginning today, DSPolitical will also be making the targeting of these voters available to all Democratic candidates and progressive causes.”

Besides cookie-targeted banner and video ads, groups should also look at Facebook Ads, which I’m using extensively on a client project to recruit wind-energy supporters, including in highly red areas of the country. In today’s media environment, people outside of Democratic enclaves may not even encounter progressive messages in their daily lives. Democrats are fools if we ignore the chance to build a case for change long before elections loom and party lines harden.


Written by
Colin Delany
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