Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Online Data Helping Campaigns Customize Ads

I believe we all had the experience on Amazon when we purchase an item, it showed related items that might interest us next time when we visited Amazon’s website. Now, campaign ads can also be customized to different audiences, according their voting behavior. Observers argue that customizing ads allows money to be spent more efficiently, while others also argue that it can pull a candidate down very fast as well. According to New York Times, Mitt Romney has two versions of advertisement, targeting at committed party members to encourage a large turnout and voters who are not sure whom they will vote for.

I think technology has made campaign tactics more and more important, compared to strategies, the discussion we had in last week’s class. As we read in Wayne’s Ch.7 for last week, television made personal appearance more important then the time when candidates advocated their ideas through radio. Now is information technology. The New York Times article points out that customized ads can be very helpful to counter a bad debate performance, so the candidates should adapt to new technological options as fast as possible. Tactics are becoming more and more important because situations, such as a bad debate performance, that were vital now seem to be reversible. Strategies cannot prevent unexpected results, but tactics may secure candidates and make them not too far behind. However, when tactics become too important, I concern that elections will be less about pure political ideals.

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