‘Google Surge’ in NY-20
Democratic contender Scott Murphy made a novel use of Google AdSense during the closing hours of the very tight race for New York’s 20th Congressional District, Kate Kaye reports for Tech President.
Call it the “Google Surge” or the “Google Network Blast,” the ad tactic has piqued the interest of old-school political media consultants typically reluctant to consider using Internet ads for anything other than fundraising or building supporter lists. From late Sunday night through noon yesterday, ads for Democratic contender Scott Murphy blanketed Web pages viewed by residents of the district, which encompasses Saratoga Springs, Lake Placid, Glens Falls, and Oneonta. The tactic tested by the Murphy campaign involves serving up ads on behalf of one advertiser on most or all of the Google content network pages generated within a short period within a specific geographic area, in this case New York’s 20th congressional district and some surrounding areas to catch local commuters at work.
The goal is akin more to a classic television campaign than a typical online political ad effort. In short, the Google blasters aim to persuade voters just before an election by getting their ad messages in front of them multiple times within a short time frame.
The Murphy campaign expected to hit the district’s 650,000 residents who visited a site in Google’s AdSense network with around 12.5 million display ad impressions during the 36-hour period before noon Tuesday. “I assume the GOP had some Google ads going, just not at the level we were at during the 36-hour period before noon Tuesday,” said de Villis.
Google itself suggested this strategy to Democratic and Republican media consultants a few weeks back. At $25,000 for 12.5 million impressions, I’d expect to see more of this sort of thing. Of course, if both candidates are bidding for the space, the price will go up and may no longer be such a great buy.
Beyond that, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this practice drew the attention of campaign finance reform advocates, charging that it’s unfair to give such valuable space to only one candidate.