Finally, it’s the two tastes that you love – or, perhaps, love to hate, if you’re like an increasingly large percentage of the Internet population of the United States of America – together in one great combination that you’ll be unable to avoid! No, really; now that Google has announced that its AdWords advertising service will be available to target by Congressional District, you can expect to see far more political advertising that really, really wants your specific attention than you could ever be interested in. Well, they do say all politics are local, right? Why shouldn’t the same be true for political advertising?
The announcement came via Google’s Politics and Elections Blog this morning. “Now, with congressional district targeting in AdWords, campaigns can quickly and easily target their search, display, mobile and video ads *solely* within that particular district’s border,” the blog post explained. “You can start by heading into AdWords and selecting your District number from the location menu populated with district information in simple Google Maps format, prepared by Azavea. Build your ad and you’re on your way.”
The new targeting will, the company explained, work across “all four screens” – A reference to Google’s “Four Screens to Victory” theorizing that the majority of voters receive information from four different outlets, and that a successful political campaign has to engage all four in order to fully engage target audiences (Those four, if you’re curious, are defined as Television, Tablets, Mobile Devices and Computers; if you’re like me, you might consider tablets and mobile devices to be particularly close, and find that the final three could all be consolidated under the heading “The Internet”. This is why I am not a successful political consultant) – the new targeted ad system is described as being “highly accountable, precise, and continually evolving” by Google Politics & Election Team head, Charles Scrase.
“We’ve built a sizeable team that is working around the clock to help all candidates get the most from their online advertising efforts [and] Congressional District Targeting in AdWords is just one more way that we’re working hard to deliver better ads for users and voters and better tools for political campaigns,” Scrase explained, adding that “Google’s complete solution helps thousands of political campaigns in all shapes and sizes make the web work for them. Our products are designed to work together, enabling campaigns do more with less online.”
Considering that users are likely to become inundated with political advertising from the Presidential Campaigns over the next few months, with ad buys on a scale that most Congressional races could only fantasize about, this service is likely to be a boon to those smaller campaigns. Whether the user will be so grateful, however, remains to be seen.