As crunch time approaches in the Texas and Ohio primaries, ascendant Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama has launched an aggressive local Web campaign.
The effort represents the first major Web effort for a presidential candidate to incorporate video. Until now, with the exception of paid search ads, candidates have relied primarily on their own Web sites and free placement on social media outlets such as Facebook and YouTube to get their message across online.
The Obama Web campaign, placed by Centro on 26 local TV, radio and newspaper Web sites in Ohio and Texas, features a Sliding Billboard at the top of the Web page with a 30-second video embedded in the expandable unit. Depending on the site, the ad plays different video ads.
Some of the media sites that are carrying the ads include Belo’s The Dallas Morning News and its ABC affiliate, WFAA-TV; Ohio.com; and The Houston Chronicle (www.chron.com). The buy also includes radio and TV stations that are part of the WorldNow Ohio and Texas Networks.
In addition, the Illinois Senator initiated a buy earlier this week with online video ad network Broadband Enterprises to run 30-second spots on various local TV, radio and newspaper Web sites, including the Clear Channel stations WKOI in San Antonio and WKRC in Cincinnati. The buy, which is said to be in the five-figure dollar range, also includes geo-targeted inventory on several national sites represented by Broadband Enterprises
According to Broadband Enterprises, to date none of the candidates have spent any dollars on their network, including Sen. Hillary Clinton.