Most of you will enjoy reading OJR's article: Candidates Slow to Bring Political Advertising Dollars to the Web
, especially in light of the failure of TV media that we've all very recently seen. Of note is Glaser's closing comment:
Until there's a way to make political consultants comfortable with the Internet as an advertising vehicle, it will continue to languish as a back-room experiment. Or maybe all it would take is one bold, risk-taking candidate to finally push big money online and win. Then everyone else will follow like a herd of raging elephants and donkeys.
It sorta reminds me of blogs and meetups from a year ago when we told Trippi to get on it quick. A year later, the Trippiless Dean machine is in pause. At least for the moment, Dean has pulled the plug on the big sucking sound that was occurring via the TV media buys. I am actually looking foward to seeing television-media-less results from the 2/3 states. Imagine HD winning a state, or two.
I want to bring up Stirling Newberry's analysis, showing the point where the internet is at now in historical comparison:
While people are wringing their hands over Dean's fall and saying that "the internet" failed, the truth can be seen from a CNN.com exit poll: among those who made up their mind early - these are the political junkies - Dean by 20 points over Kerry. Among those peopel who visited candidate websites "frequently" Dean lead 40-20 over Kerry [conversely, Kerry lead by 40-20 among those who didn't visit websites
]. In short, the internet delivered Dean a base of voters - who turned out - and a base of people connected to him - who turned out. The problem with most people talking about the new politics in 2003 is that they thought that it was like the new economy in 1996 - they fell in love with the technology and the tool, and forgot that tools are about what you do with them. They also, swept up in emotion, thought that 2004 was for the internet what 1960 was for Television.
This made two big mistakes: first, it left out that JFK won 1960 not "because" of television, but because of old fashioned working the political system - TV merely tipped the balance in his favor. Second, the internet isn't as far as long as TV was in 1960. The internet is where TV was in the 1950's - the cutting edge of culture, with a disporportionately influential base - but still small. The "frequent" visitors to web sites were 10% of New Hampshire. The broke heavily for Dean. If that number were 30%, which is to say, the difference in television penetration between 1952 and 1956 - then Dean would have been within 2% of Kerry, a dead heat.
The internet then, is currently on the cusp of dominance in terms of info seeking users. Jonah Seiger
brings up the catch confronting the new media campaigner:
"There's shorthand among media strategists and pollsters: 'Pump an extra thousand gross ratings points into a market, and we'll see an X percent bump in the unfavorable/favorable ratings,' " Seiger told me. "We don't have a similar lexicon yet for the Internet. There's a difference in the bottom line measure. With traditional media, there's an attitudinal measure, how public opinion has changed, but there's no direct response measure. Internet advertising from the very beginning was sold as a direct response medium. It creates somewhat of a trap."
And the trap is being already addressed by ad vendors. If the methodology is proven enough for major online advertisers such as IBM, HP, Intel, Ford, General Motors, Toyota, P&G, Kraft & all the major Movie Studios (through online panel surveys that compare "ad-exposed online" vs "not exposed online"), isn't it ready for more than 1-2% (and that's probably on the high-end of the Democratic campaigns) of a campaign's media budget? But the real point is that TV advertising fails to move the dial like it used too, and likewise, in terms of online advertising at the Presidential level, its just waiting to move the needle (especially in terms of offense advertising).
Here's some more data:
2000 2004 Index
- TV cost inflation is approximately 8 - 12% per year
- It takes ~10X more commercial tonnage to influence the polls on an equivalent basis compared to 1992
- Competitive campaigns caught in a tail-chasing spiral over TV share-of-voice but without the historical impact on voters
- Voters who do see TV ads often see too many and quickly burnout from over-exposure
- 21% of Adults under age 30 will get most of their campaign news from the Internet 30% of all online users will engage in online campaign activities (researching candidates, visiting websites, etc.)
- Adults who say they will learn about campaigns from the Internet jump dramatically since last election:
Adults 35-49 25% 40% (160)
Coll. Grads 35% 51% (146)
Hispanic 19% 32% (168)
Independent 25% 39% (156)