Since political parties are purchasing most of the television inventories as we approach the 2012 election, online-video inventory has become an alternative place for candidates’ 30-second ads. Mixpo, an online-video-advertising technology company, has determined that the spending in 2012 could be seven times what it was in the 2008 presidential election. As a result, there may not be enough online ad inventories in November to satisfy demand in some states.
Starting from the introduction of web-based advertisements in the 2004 election, political parties have issued tailored ads to target specific audiences, a process known as narrowcasting. Although the predicted $35 million spent on streaming online video in the election cycle is still a fraction of the $5.6 billion on television broadcasts, the online-video consumption is growing rapidly and making an impact on people’s decisions.
Other than online videos, politicians are leveraging the power of social media like never before to connect and build intimacy with the public. For both presidential candidates, social networking platforms have become a crucial battlefield that they cannot afford to lose. With the in-depth data analysis of the online audience, the candidates are able to adjust their messages to cater for many different tastes.
This shift from broadcasting to narrowcasting illustrates how presidential campaigns are beginning to target based on demographics or behavioral characteristics. Media outlets have been allowed to deliver messages that are designed for specific target audience. What happens if we are only exposed to information that has been preselected for us? When news and commercials are busy producing their own facts and reality to appeal to the believers, can we still see the truth? Decision-making never seems easy, but making your own decision has become more difficult than ever.