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Ivan Braiker

Will Super Tuesday Radio Ads Hit The Mark?

As Super Tuesday approaches, speculation and questions are circulating aplenty. Sure, the pundits have theirs, related to the remaining GOP candidates and outcomes. But I have my own, which are particularly relevant to this publication.

1. How can mobile complement radio in political ads?
2. Should politicians and radio stations consider this strategy and how will their campaigns benefit as a result?
3. What are some good examples of how this could actually work?

I am a big proponent of leveraging mobile to extend the value of our cherished medium, and as it permeates and proves its value through various channels and customer success stories, we will start seeing it leveraged in many instances through radio. From a political standpoint, it is invaluable.

A few years ago, President Obama saw the value in mobile text campaigns, especially in reaching the younger generation. During the Super Bowl, he ran ads that prompted viewers to text message "Hope" to 62262, then receiving the following response: "Welcome to Obama mobile news and updates. Reply with your zip code to get local Obama info." Not only did his ads reach its intended audience, but he was able to extend that success by building a targeted database of opt-in followers who wish to be contacted again with updates.

So now you are asking yourself, how can this translate to radio? Let’s get back to the questions, shall we?
1. How can mobile complement radio in political ads?

The candidates in this year’s race are fighting fiercely. Ad dollars are always precious, and this year like every other year, candidate ad teams are considering where to put their remaining budgets. Politicians tend to air on the traditional side, hoping that a TV or radio ad that smears an opponent, or pulls at the heart strings, will be enough. But mobile marketing needs to be a part of the mix in order to maximize their return on investment. Similar to TV and print ads, mobile marketing must be tied into radio advertising to promote re-engagement, tracking and voter relationship management.

2. Should politicians and radio stations consider this strategy and how will their campaigns benefit as a result?
At a macro level, the message in the ads is extremely important. But when you dig deeper, that message has to match its audience tightly. Radio and mobile are a perfect pair when you consider the local nature inherent in both. A local radio listener will most likely a.) have a mobile phone, and b.) be a voter. Politicians should search out stations that take advantage of channeling advertising, including update offers and local promotional messages through mobile calls to action.

From an ad dollar perspective, a local radio station can sell to politicians by offering the ability to use programming time, rather than an ad unit, to engage viewers. By offering relevant content and conversation that prompt listeners to text in opinions and “votes” for a politician, those voters may opt in and are subsequently available for re-targeting throughout the entire campaign and well into their term.

3. What are some good examples of how this could actually work?
Regardless of which political party you favor, we all consume content in varying ways. A politician needs to consistently evaluate the return achieved from ad spend. Mobile coupled with radio is a no-brainer when you consider a political ad running as-is, and the immeasurable results seen by adding a display ad that supports the message with a call to action, urging viewers to remain engaged throughout the entire campaign. 

There are various levels of engagement that stations can consider. A general on-air poll, asking listeners to text in who they think will win on Super Tuesday, and then receiving a message back that encourages reengagement to drive traffic to the station or politician’s website. Additionally, politicians can enhance their ad engagement by sending back a clickable URL within the SMS that brings voters to other online or TV ads for more information.

According to Nielsen Mobile, more than 75 billion texts are sent each month in the United States and on average 95 percent of those messages are opened and read within five minutes of receiving it. The options for politicians and radio stations are many when extending that tail of engagement through mobile. Will they take advantage of these opportunities during Super Tuesday? I look forward to seeing how it all plays out. 

Ivan Braiker is the president of Hipcricket+Augme Technologies, Inc. Drop him a note at

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