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Digital Advertising: The Untapped Weapon in Your Political Arsenal

Three Action-Oriented Proposals, Two Thoughtful Reflections, and One Probing Question

The below content was originally published on 11/15/23 in the TRP Consulting newsletter. Content is republished with their permission. To sign up for their newsletter, click here.

digital ads winning a political campaign

The Fatal Flaw of Digital Advertising as an Afterthought

In today's competitive political landscape, digital advertising is no longer an afterthought; it's a necessity. To reach a vast and diverse audience, engage with voters, and ultimately secure victory, every campaign needs a robust digital advertising strategy. Don't let your campaign fall behind. Embrace digital advertising today and unlock it’s game-changing potential.

Voters are online more than ever before. To reach them effectively, political campaigns must prioritize digital advertising. It's time to stop treating digital advertising as an afterthought and embrace it as an essential tool for connecting with voters and winning elections.

  • Average daily time spent online by Americans in Q1 2023: 6 hours and 40 minutes (DataReportal)

  • Percentage of Americans who say they are online constantly: 31% (Pew Research Center)

  • Percentage of seniors 65+ who regularly use the internet: 75% (Pew Research Center)

  • Percentage of online seniors who spend at least 6 hours per day online and own at least 5 devices: 86% (Pew Research Center)

  • Number of adults 65+ who have a device that supports video streaming: 33 million (Statista)

In a bold move, Priorities USA, a prominent Super PAC on the Left, is dedicating its entire $75 million advertising budget for the 2024 election cycle to digital advertising. This proactive decision highlights the growing importance of digital platforms in reaching and engaging voters.

Digital advertising is now one of the primary pathway to reaching and swaying voters. Political campaigns that fail to adapt to the evolving digital landscape risk falling behind and their messages get lost in the vast digital realm.

Don't Fall for the "Spray and Pray" Illusion

Pick a large audience, throw what budget you can at it, and pray it all works out. Too often this is the simplistic approach many campaigns take to digital. It’s easy, they know they need to “do digital,” and they assume it’ll have at least some positive impact.

But this "spray and pray" approach to digital advertising is a recipe for disaster. It's like throwing a handful of darts into the dark and hoping you hit the bullseye. In the ever-evolving digital landscape, this strategy is doomed to fail.

Too often, digital advertising campaigns fall prey to flawed strategies that fail to deliver results. The common pitfalls lie in targeting excessively broad audiences with meager budgets, resulting in insufficient ad impressions to make a significant impact.

The key to success lies in heeding the guidance of experienced consultants (TRP Political Coaching) and digital advertising experts ( Their combined expertise will craft a tailored strategy that ensures your campaign targets the right audience with the right budget, maximizing the impact of your advertising dollars.

Effective digital advertising is not a "spray and pray" endeavor. It demands a deep understanding of your audience, strategic optimization, and continuous refinement. Avoid the trap of passive advertising and embrace the power of data-driven decision-making to achieve your campaign goals.

Don't Force a Square Peg into a Round Hole

While consistency in messaging and creativity across all advertising channels is crucial, treating digital ads as mere extensions of traditional media is a recipe for failure. The digital realm demands a tailored approach, a symphony of design, and production specifically crafted for the nuances of the online world.

Best Practices for static ads and gifs:

1. Your graphics must be big enough to comprehend and your text must be large enough to be readable. 2. One ad, one message 3. If you are using an animated gif, make sure each visual in the loop works as a stand-alone image

For video, there are two things of the utmost importance:

1. You must make sure your video works and still tells a compelling story without sound. 2. You need to deliver your key message in the first six seconds.

Rethink your digital advertising strategy. Shed the rigid limitations of traditional media and embrace the power of digital advertising to propel your campaign to victory.

Note from Looking for more help? Check out our Best Practices Guide or our tutorial on How to Create Your Own Ads for Free (includes free templates!).

"My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose - somehow we win out.”

President Ronald Reagan

" Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway."

John Wayne in True Grit (1969)

Embrace the Courage to Conquer Your Goals

What could you accomplish if you dared to dream bigger, worked harder, and faced your fears head-on?

Real Stories, Real Lessons

Unleashing the Power of Social Pressure: A Game-Changer in the Political Arena

For years, I've been a staunch advocate for Social Pressure Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Campaigns, recognizing their immense impact in shaping election outcomes. Since the inception of Republican Ads in 2020, we've strongly endorsed digital Social Pressure campaigns, particularly for candidates facing neck-and-neck races. However, the recent re-election of Delegate Kim Taylor in Virginia's 82nd State House District served as a powerful reminder that Social Pressure GOTV is not just a tool; it's an indispensable weapon in the political arsenal.

Social Pressure GOTV Advertising utilizes a simple yet effective strategy to drive voter turnout: harnessing the fear of public scrutiny. By informing targeted voters that their voting choices are public record and showcasing the voting habits of their neighbors, campaigns create a sense of accountability and subtly nudge individuals towards the ballot box. This approach, rooted in the power of social norms and the fear of public judgment, has emerged as a powerful tool for influencing voter behavior and shaping election outcomes.

Just over a month before the election, we partnered with JLK & Associates to craft a digital campaign for Delegate Taylor. Recognizing the tight race, we focused on a Social Pressure GOTV Display Advertising strategy, targeting Republicans in the district. Our ad featured an animated GIF of a suburban neighborhood with every house except one marked as having voted GOP. The remaining house had a flashing black X and the message "Didn't Vote and Don't Let Everybody Down."

We served over a million impressions of this ad to our target audience, resulting in 2,222 clicks and the same number of visits to the Virginia Department of Elections Polling Place Lookup Portal. This digital social pressure campaign, along with direct mail and P2P text messaging, proved highly effective. Delegate Taylor ultimately won by a razor-thin margin of 74 votes, highlighting the campaign's impact.

The lesson here is resounding: Social Pressure works. doesn’t just recommend social pressure ; we make it a cornerstone of every campaign we manage, delivering tangible results that drive victory. In the cutthroat world of politics, leaving any advantage on the table is a cardinal sin. Social pressure is not just an option; it’s a necessity.

Andy Yates, RepublicanAds.Com Co-Founder & Strategist

To learn more about TRP Consulting's services, please visit TRP Consulting for more details!

About combines voter targeting solutions, programmatic advertising technology, and near real-time customized reporting within a streamlined interface that doesn’t require additional advertising training or experience. In as little as six steps, a candidate can go from the login page through the launch of a targeted digital campaign to any universe. Couple that with no up-front costs or setup fees, and it’s no wonder why the platform signed up 87 accounts that went on to launch 587 campaigns its first year in operation.

Want to use this award-winning technology in your campaign? It’s free to get started!

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