News broke this week that Barack Obama placed campaign ads in online video games. Obama’s campaign has been very innovative throughout this campaign cycle – most notable their iPhone application which turns your mobile phone into a satellite campaign office. I’m not sure this is a great example of technical innovation, but it shows the pervasiveness of both advertising and political campaigns.
You might also imagine it shows the Obama camp has too much money, that they are wasting resources on ads directed at stoner teens who can’t – or don’t – vote. But if you look at the demographics of online gamers, it actually makes sense to advertise in this space. In fact, online gamers spend three times as long on their computers as they do in front of their TVs. It’s actually a pretty bright move.
The biggest value was, of course, the free advertising the Obama camp received from the news media for using such a novel advertising tactic – a less-controversial equivalent of the strategy behind the “Daisy” ad.