Online Political Advertising: Our Salesman Reports
The AIB delivers real-time information in the banner. The ad displays information in a format similar to a stock ticker. Advertisers control the text in the banner and can target it by demographic or issue group. Advertisers might also use the AIB to respond to a recent news event they're taking a position on or for any other rapid-response need.
The e-mail manager banner ad gives advertisers an opportunity to collect e-mail addresses from Web users. The advertiser may then use the information to distribute e-mail messages, create user demographic profiles, and gather information. For users, this banner provides an easy, convenient way to subscribe to e-mail announcements from a candidate or campaign of choice.
The expanding menu banner contains four buttons that activate menus. Users then choose from a menu and navigate to different locations on an advertiser's Web site. This allows a campaign based on four key issues to "drill down" on each of them in great detail. Once the user has found the issue he wants more information about, a click of the mouse takes him directly to the page that interests him.
Most of the political/issue campaigns that will advertise on the Web will have already produced TV ads. Those TV spots can now be compressed and delivered to Web users from a banner ad: "Click here for my stance on free air time for candidates!" This option becomes more attractive when combined with the capability to deliver specific messages to targeted audiences or geographic locations.
Come November 2000, I expect the question will no longer be whether Web-based political advertising works, but whether it works too well.
Cyrus Krohn is a former publisher of Slate.