On Friday, Google announced the new AdWords Congressional District targeting feature. The new feature, which is already live, allows Congressional candidates to easily launch search, display, mobile, and video ad campaigns that pinpoint their exact target audience. While Google AdWords already allowed targeting by zip codes, the Congressional Districts often contain multiple zip codes that do not line up with county or city lines and the new feature will likely be welcomed by campaign managers nationwide.
The recent redistricting, which occurs once every ten years, changed the landscape of all 435 Congressional Districts making political targeting more difficult than ever. Since both television and radio ads require political candidates to deliver a message to large media audiences, inevitably the candidate ends up paying to deliver ads beyond the district lines. Google AdWords provides candidates with the opportunity to limit the delivery area to their district and the new targeting feature has further simplified the process.
Charles Scrase, the Head of Elections and Non-Profits for Google, posted the following on the Adwords blog:
“Now, with congressional district targeting in AdWords, campaigns can quickly and easily target their search, display, mobile and video ads *solely* within that particular district’s border. You can start by heading into AdWords and selecting your District number from the location menu populated with district information in simple Google Maps format, prepared by Azavea.”
Gerrit Lansing, the digital director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, emphasized the value of the new Congressional District feature during a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal:
“Any time you can be more specific in your advertising it is a big benefit to a political campaign. The ability to draw a precise circle around these convoluted districts is a big deal, and we’ll be taking full advantage.”
With billions of dollars being spent on campaign advertising each political cycle, industry experts expect Google to continue making their political advertisement system more effective and attractive. The search engine, which is using the Four Screens to Victory campaign to emphasize the value of online political ads, recently indicated that thousands of political campaigns are using the political tools and AdWords.