The sky is blue, the grass is green, and politicians use political ads; these are all well-known facts. But how effective are these 24/7 political advertisements? According to author Jonah Berger and Turning Point USA spokesperson Isabel Brown, they are not at all. With all the social media platforms out there, it seems like an abundance of content reaches more voters than ever before. More often than not, these voters have already made up their minds about who they are voting for. Is there a point to political ads then? There is no real way to tell if these ads are actually making a difference or not, but the studies that have been done are not in their favor. Political ads are useful during certain times of a campaign. With it being this close to the election, are the ads helping or just bothersome?
Social Media and Political Ads
Social Media has become the fastest-growing way of sharing any form of content to any part of the world. The American people use it so much so that even the politicians are putting out more content than is strictly for certain social media outlets. Brown stated that political ads essentially can be anything from a card we get in the mail to your Twitter feed. There is a crossover between political ads and social media. Footage can be universally shared on these sites. However, social media in no way has made it more difficult for politicians to get their ads out to the public. Facebook released a statement that a week before the election, they will not be sharing any kind of political advertisements on its site. They claim that this is to help stop the spread of false information. Berger feels as though this is completely irrelevant to the average American voter. When the ads do work, they are only making a slight difference. The Facebook ban added with 30 days until the election equals a failing political ad formula.
Both sides are being targeted
It is no secret that our information is being shared, but how come these ads seem so targeted at us? That is because they are doing what they were designed to do. Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, these campaigns are figuring out more and more information about potential voters. Social media plays a huge role in this because not only are they spreading information, but they are also collecting information. Campaigns are getting information on what you like, dislike, even what language(s) you speak. Now more than ever, campaigns can use what they collect about you to their advantage. Political ad targeting will become even more narrow as the years go on.
For more on the 2020 election, check out this video.