Google to Ramp Up 2008 Presidential Election Involvement

Posted Mar 25, 2007

As the 2008 Presidential election is nearing, the world of Web 2.0 is finding ways to influence voters both old and young.  Presidential candidate profiles are now starting to appear on #1 social network,  As you may remember, in 1992 President Bill Clinton increased his chances of winning by appearing on MTV frequently and talking directly to young voters about his goals.  Using youth programming as a medium for promotion was a good idea.  As a result, this also increased MTV’s credibility because it proved that it cares youth involvement with America’s socio-cultural, political, and environmental factors that affect our country today. 

Fast forward 15 years, the new medium that influences young voters include web video and social networking.  YouTube Inc., property of Google is one of those mediums.  Recently a video spoof of an Apple commercial from 1984 started making an appearance on YouTube, has about 2.7 million views, and features a supporter of Barack Obama throwing a sledgehammer into a video of Hillary Clinton.

Elliot Schrage, Google’s VP of Global Communications and Public Affairs stated “I think the difference is we are now recognizing that this is a segment that we have to pay attention to in a way that we hadn’t.” According to political marketing firm, MSCH Partners, campaigns spent $12 million worth of advertising online in 2004 whereas $1.6 billion was spent on television ads.  But now since more and more people are watching TV shows on the web, online political spending is more than likely going to increase substantially.

Google sponsored an event for political consultants recently where three Google representatives, including the head of their political sales team, discussed the potential of online advertising via YouTube and other Google products.  “They were out essentially selling a product: Use us,” stated David Haase, a Mindshare Interactive Campaigns consultant. “They’re trying to become the gold standard.”

[Information Source: L.A. Times]