Cable Remains Cost Effective for Political Messaging
StimulatingBroadband.com 09/12/2001 San Francisco - The Democratic National Committee is reminding us about the political uses of cable. On Tuesday the DNC will launch its second national cable 30-second spot as part of its ad campaign for the 2010 midterm elections.
Before candidates bought geo-targeted and saturation levels of Google Ads, before Joe Trippi and Zephyr Teachout made online political organizing the sine qua non of national campaigns in 2004 on behalf of Howard Dean, and certainly before House Republicans conquered the Twittersphere, there was political advertising on cable television.
Cable, with its ad availabilities at the local and national level, served the transitional electronic media for political advertising between broadcast TV and today's increasingly robust online efforts. Cable's ability to deliver cost effective and highly targeted buys, using both geographic and psychographic slices of the television audience, is what drove the rapid growth of cable political ads starting in the early 1980s. The early buys this year by the DNC prove that the effectiveness of cable has not been made moot by the growing dollars devoted to online campaigns.
DNC & Boehner: Call and Response
As first reported early this morning by the Wall Street Journal's Laura Meckler, and then as breaking news this morning by Politico's Mike Allen on his daily Playbook, the DNC on Tuesday will launch a new national cable ad, which characterizes the legislative positions of House Republican Leader Rep. John A. Boehner R-OH-08) as favoring tax cuts for businesses "that shift jobs and profits overseas."
Allen reports the spot will run as a one week flight, while Meckler states the the ad will run for "several days." Boehner would become Speaker of the House if the GOP wins a majority of the chamber in November's midterm elections. His House office has already posted a response to the ad that characterizes Democrats as being "sacred, panicked, and desperate," while accusing them of having "No New ideas to Create Jobs."
Tuesday's ad launch follows the first national ad buy of this cycle, also launched by the DNC on August 20th, also by the DNC with its Big Choices 30-second spot.
Cable Political Ads as Democratic Innovation
With the current use of cable ads, the Democrats are returning to a cost effective means for the purchase of persuasion pieces. It is a political advertising venue created by the Democrats themselves.
Cable political advertising was pioneered by then Boston based television consultant John M. Florescu in 1982. He purchased highly targeted spots and custom produced topical shows for redistricted Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA-04) on the Portuguese Channel in Fall River, Massachusetts. The effectiveness of Florescu's production, tied to the geo-demographic sweet spot effectively hit with the cheap cable channel time, caught the imagination of political consultants.
This was especially true as Frank won the hard fought race against incumbent Republican Margaret "Peg" Heckler. Florescu went onto serve as the DNC's communications director and as the long time CEO of David Frost's production company. Frank, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee since 2007, has served continuously since his '82 win.