Get ready for some Jesse Cornett on your face.
Sorry, on your Facebook. City Council candidate Jesse Cornett is set to announce a $9,000 campaign expenditure tomorrow, on an internet advertising campaign. He spent $1,000 on Facebook ads earlier this week, and plans to spend this new money through friend and internet strategist Kari Chisholm at Mandate Media. Chisholm started the Blue Oregon website with Cornett in 2004.
"I think that this is the most innovative way to run a campaign," says Cornett. "People are tired of getting mail piece after mail piece at home or simply being talked at by their television. What this allows us to do is actually get the word out in a way that reflects the habits of the voters."
"If you're sitting in 97214, and you're reading the New York Times, you're a likely voter, and so you'll see my ad," says Cornett. "This is targeted Facebook and Google ad technology."
"What he hired us to do at the very beginning was build a website and serve as his internet consultant for the duration of the campaign," says Chisholm. "We have started to do a lot of internet advertising—the bulk of this money will go straight out of my bank account and go straight to the internet through Google and Facebook. What we're doing, basically, is trying to communicate with lots and lots of voters in a place that they are."
"So for $10,000 we're probably looking at around six or seven million impressions," he says. "This is a strategy that a lot of campaigns are starting to experiment with. It's become increasingly cost effective, and increasingly clear that things like television advertising are becoming less effective."
So, how does he measure the effectiveness?
"Well, the question of effectiveness seems to only come up when it's a new form of advertising," says Chisholm. "But there's an argument for adding a component to the mix to be able to target folks by age. You want to talk to women in Portland who are age 37? You can do that with Facebook. It's a brave new world—we're all experimenting with this stuff."
Scott Brown, the Republican who won in Massachusetts, spent 10% of his campaign budget on internet ads.
"If you were in Massachusetts in the last few days of that race, and you were on the internet, you were looking at Scott Brown," says Chisholm.