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Obama Camp Claims Most-Aired Ad of Election So Far

14 Mar, 2012 By: Jackie Jones


WASHINGTON – While all candidates in the 2012 presidential election are fronting big bucks to back to their campaigns, it is President Barack Obama’s advertisements that have aired the most so far, according to Kantar Media and Campaign Media Analysis Group.

With 6,190 airings, the Obama campaign’s “Unprecedented” rebutted a TV ad by the Koch Brothers’-backed Americans for Prosperity hitting the White House on Solyndra. Republicans did claim three of the top five spots, with Mitt Romney (and his supporters) boasting a heavy presence, as well.

“It’s a sign of both the formidable fundraising prowess by the Obama campaign, which raised more than $128 million through the end of 2011, and the growing role of independent super PAC groups in the campaign,” Caroline Horn of CBS News wrote on the media’s Political Hotsheet site. “And looking at where the ads aired shows which states both parties are focused on ahead of Election Day.”

The top five ads, in order, are:

• “Unprecedented”; Obama for America; 6,190 airings

• “Shovel Ready”; Crossroads GPS; 5,057 airings

• “Moral Responsibility”; Mitt Romney for President; 5,006 airings

• “Values”; Restore our Future; 4,650 airings

• “14 Months”; Democratic National Committee; 4,387 airings View the top five video ads here.

Obama kicked off his TV campaign with short-form DR in December (Response This Week, Dec. 7, 2011). The two ads featured the President talking directly to viewers, asking them to call an 888-number or visit JoinObama.com to get more involved in his re-election efforts. The spots were an interesting and fresh use of DRTV for politics, according to Doug Garnett, founder of Atomic Direct and a Response Advisory Board member. The video in which Obama speaks directly to consumers was particularly effective, Garnett said.

“It was honest and engaging for Mr. Obama to directly appeal for people to help him complete what ‘we all’ started. That message seemed believable and important – the kind of message that works in DRTV,” Garnett said. “In this directness, it’s clear what’s going on and if people are interested they’ll respond.”

The second spot, which focuses more on the grassroots appeal, didn’t work as well and risked coming off “disingenuous,” Garnett noted.

“(Obama) still needs the grassroots action, but will have to generate it another way. The reality is that the grassroots spot just takes too long to develop,” he said. “For DRTV to work in these short formats, people need to know quite early what you’re asking them to do.”

DRTV and politics are a good mix, according to Peter Koeppel, founder and president of Koeppel Direct and Response Advisory Board member (Response, November 2011). “(Generating results) is vital to political issue advertising, where you are trying to influence people to vote for your political issue and/or raise money for that issue,” Koeppel said. “DR campaigns are designed to sell a product or serve and political campaigns are designed to sell people on a particular issue, so structuring a political campaign with this in mind could lead to improved results delivered at a more efficient cost.”


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