Oct. 20, 2010 12:00

white noise

News and views from inside the media bubble

A NEW FRONTIER IN TECHNOLOGY, MEDIA AND POLITICS

Direct mail remains the most effective medium for reaching voters, using addresses, voting history, party registration, race and gender to target key demographics in candidates’ efforts to turn out their respective bases. In comparison, broadcast television is a much cruder method. For example, a candidate such as Democrat Don Vaughan, whose district covers much of Greensboro, wastes his message on viewers in Winston-Salem who won’t even see his name on the ballot. However, cable television might come close to direct mail’s ability to penetrate the electorate. Vaughan is among a cohort of candidates purchasing spots from Time-Warner Cable. The company offers access to households specific to candidates’ districts, and allows targeting by gender and interest. For example, candidates seeking to turn out the female vote might purchase advertising on one of the channels in the “home and leisure” category. Male voters could be reached through pairings with ESPN or CNN. Values voters likely congregate at Daystar and Inspirational Life. And though the Hispanic vote is not exactly coveted this season, one day they’ll hit their demographic threshold, and one predicts North Carolina politicians will be courting them through Univision, La Familia and ESPN Deportes.

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