(Just a fair warning - I AM NOT A BIRTHER)
The other day while working on an online advertising campaign for one of our clients I came across the following text ad from FightTheSmears.com. It's obviously an ad trying to debunk the theories that President Obama is not a US citizen. However, I found this ad interesting on a number of fronts...
- It is September 2009 which is almost a full three years before President Obama's reelection.
- I found another ad in Google's Content Targeting network which suggests either a tactic to massively expand out the campaign and/or garner dirt cheat impressions. Notice I wrote impressions and not clicks. Text ads in Google's Content Network woefully under-perform and I always recommend to not waste your time with them.
- They are also running paid search ads to intercept people looking for this information, but what I find very fascinating is that the Google Search Trends on this topic is slowing down and appears to be limited to a few states in the South and West.
- The actual text ad I grabbed was an in-text video overlay on top of a YouTube video about a California Small Business Owner ripping into her Congressmen at a Town Hall Meeting on Obama Care. It takes a little more effort to put this ad inro your AdWords system so clearly this is something they wanted to do.
Is the Obama Administration really that concerned about the birther theories that they will run ads almost 3 years before a massive amount of people will care again? If you ran the trends back to fall 2008 you'll see that the peak was really October 2008 which of course was right before the election. However, they are spending time, energy, and money to really blast this message out via Google's Content Network and YouTube. The in-text video overlay clearly shows that they are ok with a very loose targeting and even though it is really out of context (ObamaCare versus Obama's Birth Certificate) they are getting an impression view of the message.
Then again there is always the flip side that could be happening. That's is since the Trends are slowing and it appears that most of the significant traffic is from the South and West, wouldn't they be better off just leaving this alone? Aren't they potentially fueling the fire by keeping this alive and being defensive? Heck even risking that the impressions that are being served will leave the reverse message in the viewers mind since the ad isn't really in the right context?
BTW - just to drive you readers crazy, is it possible that Obama is ok with the wrong message? Perhaps they think that by keeping it out there that they are making the extreme right side of the Republican base seem a little crazier than normal. Perhaps by responding in this matter they can keep the issue alive, driving a wedge between potential independent voters who may not want to be associated with birthers?
Unless Obama has data for my last theory, at this point I'd recommend shutting this campaign down. It really makes them look defensive on an issue that has lost steam. Then again, I wouldn't be surprised that they have polling data to support my last theory. At any rate, it is clear that the Obama Administration will be a never ending campaign and unlike past administrations the next election will always be front and center. That's certainly a change from the past.