Friday, May 03, 2013

ESPN gets ad buys from companies aiming to reach Obama and White House officials, they know Obama watches ESPN so companies tailor ads to influence him on various matters-Politico

5/2/13, "Winning over President Obama with ESPN," Politico, Anna Palmer

"President Barack Obama loves to watch sports — and the people who want to catch his eye know it.

Companies and trade associations are doing something a little strange: They’re buying up airtime on ESPN.

“It’s certainly a tactic that’s talked about a lot,” said one media strategist who had a client advertise on ESPN in hopes of reaching Obama during the climate change debate of his first term. “It was for exactly that reason.”

The strategist said the ads can’t be so obvious that Obama knows he’s the intended audience.

“It’s not just targeting Obama but doing it in a way that is both interesting and will get the attention of the audience but not so unusual that it will put the client in a bad position.”

Companies and groups that have given the strategy a shot are cagey about discussing it openly. But there are plenty of examples of ads airing on ESPN in Washington that carry a political message.

Case in point: Microsoft. The behemoth tech company took to Monday Night Football to bash Google as part of its Scroogled campaign. The ad ran locally at least twice during the Washington Redskins and New York Giants game in December. Scroogle ads are also running on ESPN now in Washington.

While companies like T-Mobile, AT&T and Progressive Insurance among others regularly advertise on ESPN to promote the company’s products, the Microsoft ad raised questions about Google’s business practices just as federal regulators were considering bringing actions against Google over competition issues.

Microsoft declined to comment for this article but told POLITICO in December that the effort was to “break through all the noise” and highlight problems with Google’s shopping service.

The company also ran Do Not Track ads on ESPN in the Washington-area during the NFL draft, pushing the idea that it keeps its users’ data private.

ESPN and the White House declined to comment.

Of course, ESPN buys are generally part of a larger effort that includes lobbying, targeted advertising in print, online and on TV and earned media.

Local ad buys on ESPN in Washington range from around $750 to $1,000 per spot and at the national level could be in the $15,000 to $20,000 range, according to a source familiar with pricing. The prices vary by show, time of day and sporting event."... via Breitbart

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