How political ads popular on Twitter can be counter-productive

What works well on Twitter can be counter-productive if used in political adverts. That’s one of the snippets of wisdom in a Politico piece looking at the attempts by Democrats to find advertising messages which work against President Trump.

Politico reports:

“What we’ve learned form a lot of previous experience … is that quite honestly, people who work in politics can be bad prognosticators in terms of which ad will work,” said Patrick McHugh, Priorities’ executive director. “You see a lot of times the videos that go viral on Twitter … you test those ads, and more often than not they backlash … they can move voters toward Trump.”

That in part may be due to the well-established evidence that voters on Twitter lean more liberal than the everyone else. But in addition, it may also be due to the long-standing factor that what motivates your own side (and in this case, gets retweets going) is often not the same as what motivates swing voters. That, at least, is what other Twitter research has found.

By lucky timing, this topic – what works for you might not work for the voters you need to persuade – was also discussed extensively in the latest episode of Never Mind The Bar Charts: What we can learn from Republicans campaigning against Donald Trump.


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One response to “How political ads popular on Twitter can be counter-productive”

  1. As always, congratulations Mark (or should I say President Mark) for bringing to our attention thought provoking, quirky or relevant “conversation starters” for anyone interested in how our civil society and political culture evolves. The temptation to dive into differing social media platforms with the same messaging or narrative is very real.

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