Google search Carly Fiorina. Chances are you have a pink box at the top of the page telling you to join Carly Fiorina for California today. Now Google search the incumbent Barbara Boxer. I bet the pink box has ads telling you to go to CallMeBarbara.com and CarlyforCalifornia.com.
The political online ad wars are in full swing. Online ad spending for 2010 is expected to more than double compared to 2008, which is impressive considering this is a midterm election. The bidding wars have extended from the TV and radio airwaves to keywords on Google, Bing and Yahoo – not to mention paid advertising on Facebook, Blogs and traditional news Websites.
While online advertising is increasing exponentially, it is still expected to account for only 1% of total campaign budgets according to Borrell Associates, a local advertising consulting firm.
One of the best parts of online advertising is campaigns can see immediate results not only from pushing their messaging but encouraging people to volunteer and donate. An effective online campaign can be cost neutral or as President Obama proved in 2008, be a fundraising boon.
Online advertising comprising of search functionality, e-mail, social media and emerging mobile advertising opportunities will help campaigns remain economically viable, reinforce messaging and anchor rapid response capabilities.
And chances are, if you are not doing it, your opponent probably is.
To learn more about political online advertising, read this recent piece from Advertising Age.