Grassroots AdSense Strategy

Obama AdsenseBrowsing a news article today about Barack Obama’s swing through New Hampshire, I was struck by the AdSense ad block on the right: an ad for Barack’s own site at BarackObama.com, an ad for DraftObama.org, a site run by my buddy Ben Stanfield designed to encourage the Senator to run for President, and an intriguing third ad placed by Barack’s fellow Senator, Dick Durbin.

The purpose of Barack’s ad is clear: get as many people to visit his own site as possible by leveraging the surge in news coverage his book tour and possible presidential run, so that he can gather as many names and e-mail addresses as possible.

Ditto for DraftObama.org: Ben’s trying to grow his petition list as much as possible, to demonstrate the broad support Senator Obama will have should he get into the race. (Props to DraftObama for the time-sensitive ad copy, btw.)
Senator Durbin’s ad is a bit more intriguing to me. Why would he advertise his petition to encourage Barack to run for President?

My hunch: he’s trying to build his own e-mail list, and using the occasion of Barack’s probable run as a hook to entice people to sign up. The ad clicks through to this URL as a landing page, which then directs you to this GetActive.org page which looks like a Durbin campaign site but is really just designed to collect names and info which will then be shared with Senator Obama should he run. (Cet Active is a DC-based online constituent relationship management app used by hundreds of campaigns and non-profits.) Not only does he get a much larger list than he’d likely build on his own (Illinois politicians are hardly first-movers when it comes to online campaigning), he gets to demonstrate his value to Barack by having a larger-than-expected list when it comes time to actually hand over the list. Using AdSense is just a simple calculation: is it worth a few bucks to acquire lots of names, so that when you tell Barack you helped spread the word about his candidacy, you’ve got 20,000 names instead of 1800?

It’s a savvy move on Senator Durbin’s part, certainly smarter than the well-intentioned (but far less leveragable) effort by Barack’s former Springfield buddies, Dan Hynes and Don Harmon. They’re just sending people directly to RunObama.com’s petition, which means that while they’ll help that draft effort get going, there’s no way to either (a) benefit from the collection of names and info, or (b) demonstrate how much they influenced the petition’s success.

For the record, I think the “draft Obama” sites will be short-lived. I think he declares by mid-January (I have no inside knowledge of any timeframe, just what I read in the papers). And I think he wins the nomination and the Presidency.

3 responses to “Grassroots AdSense Strategy”

  1. Capitalizing on Obama-Mania…Rick Klau notes Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) started using Google Adwords to drive people to his website. “The purpose of Barack’s ad is clear: get as many people to visit his own site as possible by leveraging the surge in news coverage his book tour an…

  2. […] Rick Klaus showed last week that Obama will win if Google can be used as an indicator. He looked at the graphs posted by Erik Heels which seemed to show that Hillary Clinton would win but Klaus found that Heels had misspelled Obama’s first name as Barak. While “Barak Obama” trails Clinton in hits, Barack Obama wins easily. As I found when I misspelled Dick Devos’s name during the Michigan Governor’s race, there’s lots of Google hits on a misspelled name, but not as many as on the correct spelling. For a small blog, however, it might bring in more hits to misspell someone’s name as many people misspell names in a search and there is less competition for hits on the incorrect spelling. Rick Klaus also looked at on line ad strategies and Obama today. Written by Ron ChusidLast 5 posts by Ron ChusidSanta Slammed in War on Christmas – December 11th, 2006Creationist Teaching Aids Banned in Great Britain Science Classes – December 10th, 2006Chopra Concludes, Responding to Criticism – December 10th, 2006War on Terror Over – December 10th, 2006Iraq Study Group Echoed Kerry's Warnings – December 9th, 2006 […]

  3. […] It’s not every day that I get a chance to read a post involving both online advertising and politics, so imagine my pleasure in reading this piece from Rick Klau: Browsing a news article today about Barack Obama’s swing through New Hampshire, I was struck by the AdSense ad block on the right: an ad for Barack’s own site at BarackObama.com, an ad for DraftObama.org, a site run by my buddy Ben Stanfield designed to encourage the Senator to run for President, and an intriguing third ad placed by Barack’s fellow Senator, Dick Durbin. […]

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