With the political season in full swing, we checked in with several of our leading publisher partners to see how they have been impacted by political advertisers and what their plans are to leverage access to their audiences. This interview is with Joseph Malchow, co-founder at Publir.
Have you seen an increase in interest in advertising from the political parties and/or from specific candidates?
J. Malchow: Publir can’t speak about the activities of individual parties or candidates. Broadly, here is what is interesting: politics is the art of the possible. Leverage, in politics, comes from shifting the electorate’s perception of what is possible.
A turn of phrase, a novel leitmotif, a cutting accusation or inspiring claim: these things tend to do more to move people than the kind of marginal claims that ad campaigns are typically built around. (E.g. 10% off, Trump is better on taxes, and so forth.)
If you have two candidates expected to fall within a couple of points of one another, you’re going to get hyper-targeted messaging. 2016 is not such a year. This year’s campaign is emotional and identity-driven. The messaging being bid on our platform looks and feels a lot more like messaging for a film or a car.
Which candidates and/or PACs have the best creative and understand the medium best vs. just placing traditional political ads wherever possible?
J. Malchow: Again, Publir can’t speak about activities of individual parties, candidates, or PACs. It’s clear to me that no side has a data edge over the other.
For nearly ten years, Publir has been the trusted, consistent, independent platform for publishers with politically sophisticated audiences, and this seems to me to be the first year that bids on our private exchange from GOP PACs and Democrat PACs are matching against the same types of datasets.
Last but not least, how are you planning to monetize the political season beyond what you would do typically?
J. Malchow: We’ve been powering programmatic ads for large-scale, high-IQ websites like RealClearPolitics for a long time. Campaign season allows for quick grabs to maximize prices or inflate inventory levels.
We do not do this. Sites use Publir because they know we run a fast and efficient exchange, we are honest and responsible, and that we’ll be around for a long time. The intensity of the interest in the election will provide the growth, and our reputation for good business hygiene will ensure we and our clients benefit from it.
Our development team is working on a novel payments platform, which we are excited about. But we cannot reveal much yet.