Obama Spent $2.8 Million on Google Advertising This Year

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The Obama campaign spent $3.47 million on online advertising over the course of its campaign to date, with 82% of that budget going to Google AdWords according to the FEC and statistics compiled by ClickZ.

  • Google AdWords scored over 82 percent of money spent on online media buys for Obama’s campaign this year through April.
  • Over $2.8 million was paid to Google, according to Obama for America in its itemized FEC reports.
  • The Obama camp spent $640,000 in January, the beefed up the ad budget to $1.9 million in February. $880,000 was spent in March then $234,000 spent in April.

What is even more interesting is that unlike TV and radio ads looking for impressions, the Obama campaign had cost per click and ROI in mind with driving contributions as well as votes.

Obama camp has gravitated towards performance-based ad buys, and not only on Google. The other top recipients of his campaign’s online ad dollars specialize in cost-per-action ads as well. In addition to Yahoo search ads, payments to performance ad networks including Specific Media, Pulse360, Microsoft-owned DrivePM and AOL-owned Quigo also showed up in FEC filings reflecting spending between January and April.

CPM oriented ads were limited to influential blogs and news sites like Politico, CNN.com and the Gothamist. According to the report, Microsoft has seen $73,000 of the Obama campaign, but it has not been published whether this was for display impression ads, search ads or a mix.

Adding to the mix were social networking sites which were targeted by the Obama campaign; spending about $47,000 on Facebook ads, $11,500 from Obama for America on Myspace.com and $5,000 with Community Connect, a publisher of ethnic and lifestyle-oriented social networks.

Along with the media, search engines and networks seem to be benefitting highly from this year’s Presidential campaign. Kate Kaye of ClickZ adds that “as much as $3 billion could be spent by political campaigns leading up to the November election.”

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • http://www.6smarketing.com/blog/google_analytics_exploring_metricsgotta_love_bench_marking/ Quentin6s

    Interesting stuff! The Obama campaign’s understanding of web-based marketing is pretty unprecedented. I think we’ll see far more highly coordinated web-based political campaigns in the future.

  • http://www.devbasu.com Dev Basu

    Aside from the buzz around Ron Paul, Obama’s online reach campaign has been profilic to say the least. I can’t remember any political campaign globally, that has employed as much use of social networking sites like twitter, linkedin, facebook, and others to get a competitive advantage. I wonder what lucky SMM professional he hired?

  • http://www.clarityqst.com Chris Slocumb

    Chris Hughes of Facebook is on Obama’s campaign…probably has something to do with it.

  • http://www.newroommate.co.uk BottomTurn

    being a foreigner, and living outside the US, but working in the SEM world, it is very interesting to know that politicians are using the web too, to promote themselves and get some ROI. very interesting….