Rapid-Response Advertising Hits the Web

From Politico.com

“Republicans were thrilled a few weeks ago when Newark Mayor Cory Booker called the Obama campaign’s Bain attacks “nauseating.”

If you searched for Booker on Google, the promoted ad on top of the results page led you directly to the Republican National Committee’s “I Stand With Cory” petition….

There’s a new tool in town in the rapid-response arsenal: Web advertising. As fast as a candidate or campaign makes a gaffe or controversy is sparked by an off-message surrogate, using Web ads is a novel way to lure campaign cash, or at least a lot of clicks. Even if the gaffe was made by your own team, there’s no reason not to ride the Google wave and shoot straight to the top of paid search.

“You’re reaching people at the exact moment they’re interested in something,” said Rob Saliterman, who oversees Google’s political advertising on the Republican side. “It’s like having a conversation” with them.”

Perhaps the biggest advantage of using Web ads to respond to breaking news or events is that they take just a fraction of the time involved in assembling responses in the form of direct mail or TV ads.

“You can’t put together a direct mail piece, print it, get it approved and get it up within an hour like you can with [online ads],” said GOP online consultant Vincent Harris.

As a result, Web ads let campaigns and parties jump into the conversation as a story is still evolving…..

When Texas GOP Senate candidate Ted Cruz got a coveted endorsement from Sarah Palin earlier this month, his campaign used Google, Facebook and Twitter ads to publicize it and raise money from Palin supporters around the country.

“We were up within 60 minutes [after the endorsement] with news search ads around Palin’s name, knowing that the issue would break big,” said Harris, who works with Cruz’s campaign. “We were advertising to Palin’s fans directly on Facebook and advertising on Twitter to Palin’s Twitter handle and anyone talking about her on Twitter.”

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