President Obama’s campaign is airing five different versions of an education-themed television ad that emphasizes the importance of education in people’s lives including his own.
Why so many adaptations of the same ad? It looks like most of the ads are customized to include a shot of a college or university in the state where the ad is airing. Campaigns like to deliver their messages to voters in the most personal way possible, a technique called “micro-targeting.”
So you’ll see a shot of Ohio State University’s Oval, the central location of the campus, in the version of the ad that the Obama campaign began airing yesterday in the Columbus market, according to New York-based Kantar Media’s CMAG, which tracks advertising. Ohio State is one of the nation’s largest universities, with an enrollment of more than 56,000 on its Columbus campus. In the 2008 election, Obama won the county that includes Ohio State by 21 percentage points, helping him win Ohio by 4.6 percentage points. The ad also is airing in Cincinnati.
A spot that ran until May 26 in Orlando, Florida, is exactly the same as the ad that’s running in Columbus, except that the Florida spot includes a shot of the University of Central Florida in Orlando, another of the nation’s largest schools. Obama won Orange County, which includes Orlando, by 86,177 votes and 18.6 percentage points in the 2008 election. He won Florida by 236,450 votes and 2.8 percentage points.
The version on the Obama campaign’s YouTube channel is running in Colorado, Iowa and North Carolina, CMAG data show. Can you help Political Capital identify the school that appears at the 10-second mark? Feel free to use the comments section.
Other versions of the ad are airing in Nevada, in the Las Vegas and Reno markets, and Virginia, in the Richmond market. If you see either ad on television, let us know which school is pictured. (The Obama campaign hasn’t responded to a e-mail requesting the names of the schools pictured in the ads).
The ads underscore the importance the Obama campaign is placing on winning the votes of younger voters. Obama won voters age 18-to-29 by 66 percent to 32 percent in the 2008 election, according to an exit poll.