Political

How digital advertising can swing votes and raise turnout

Advertising graphic from Facebook
There’s an excellent discussion of the impact of political adverts in the US which also acts as a clear overview of what political advertising is about and how it’s done. It comes in the latest episode of theĀ Social Media and Politics podcast:

Nick Ahamed, Director of Analytics at Priorities USA, shares his research on the effectiveness of digital ads for increasing voter turnout and support for Democrats. We discuss the field and survey experiments that Priorities USA has been running to find the optimal messaging strategies, targeting approaches, and treatment lengths for political social media ads during elections.


A major caveat when applying lessons from the podcast to the UK is that one of the differences in how our politics works is that we don’t have paid political advertising on television. That huge different in the advertising landscape means specific lessons may well be different between the US and the UK. But the principles of how to approach thinking about, testing and evaluating adverts do carry across the Atlantic.

If you fancy more from this excellent podcast, there’s also the episode from last year featuring me discussing how the media covers elections and campaign tactics.

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2 responses to “How digital advertising can swing votes and raise turnout”

  1. Despite being a 55 year old digital dinosaur, I can see Digital is the future for much old school communication. Leaflets are expensive both in time and volunteer money. The podcast is great but 44mins long.

    Can you recommend some saveable pdf digital campaigning best practice that can be referred to time after time. I would be a new digital campaigner. At the moment I am stealing with pride from Labour and (to a much lesser extent) Conservative sources.

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