Thursday, October 19, 2006

Three Pieces

"Micro-targeting voters may be key to election (MSNBC):"

With control of Congress on the line in next month’s do-or-die election, pollsters and politicians are poring over information on your personal habits and pet peeves to try to win.

Each side is now pinpointing its most “desirable” voters using demographic, attitudinal and consumer data. The process is called “micro-targeting” and involves feeding defined voter groups specially tailored messages, and then dragging or driving them, if need be, to their polling places on Nov. 7, Election Day.

In this new game of GOTV, or get out the vote, there’s no such thing as TMI — too much information.

“The more you know about anyone, the better you can target them,” said Democratic strategist Jano Cabrera.

"Angry Data Nerds (NY Observer):"

While many Democratic activists and fund-raisers are in an almost celebratory mood at the prospect of taking one or both houses of Congress in next month’s election, the professionals charged with the behind-the-scenes mobilizing and deploying of the party’s vast voter database are troubled.

The problem lies, specifically, within the geeky subculture of Democratic get-out-the-vote strategists and data managers—the guardians of the voter information that has become the lifeblood of recent elections. Just as the Democrats were making strides toward the ultimate goal of catching up to the finely tuned Republican micro-targeting operation, the Democratic corps of data nerds became engaged in a low-grade civil war, trading old allegations of miscues and strategic gaffes in the run-up to the 2004 election.

"Political Advertising Controlled By Hacks (Media Daily News):"

POLITICAL ADVERTISING NEEDS TO TAKE a page from the evolving world of consumer advertising: Find personal ways to reach voters that are relevant to their lives. That was the consensus of a panel of senior ad executives, campaign strategists and Internet marketers yesterday in a program hosted by New York's Advertising Club.

Moderated through wisecracks and unconventional wisdom by online diva Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post, the panel--titled "Politically Correct: Getting It Right On The Campaign Trail"--was a fair and balanced mix of experts from the left and right, including former BBDO chairman Phil Dusenberry; The Kaplan Thaler Group's CEO Linda Kaplan Thaler; vice president of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Michael Turk; John Hlinko, vice president of marketing and creative engagement at Grassroots Enterprise; and consultant Bernard Whitman, president, Whitman Insight Strategies.

Unlike those who run political parties, the five panelists agreed far more than they disagreed. All despaired over the poor quality of political advertising, the power of fear to win votes, the difficulty of building a candidate's brand in a short time, and the lowest-common-denominator banality of negative ads.

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