Ad War Update: Two Weeks Left

Oct 23 2012 @ 7:32pm

Obama opens the final stretch of the campaign with a big (and belated) rollout of his second-term agenda. Below the president goes direct-to-camera in a one-minute ad that will air in CO, FL, IA, NV, NH, NC, OH, VA and WI (ad buy size unknown):

Matt Vasilogambros adds:

Panelists on MSNBC's Morning Joe pointed out that the ad has hints of Ronald Reagan's famous "Morning in America" spot. [view that here]

The Obama campaign plans on printing 3.5 million copies of the plan and it will be distributed to campaign field offices, Politico reports. The 20-page "Blueprint for America’s Future" booklet will be released at a campaign event in Florida on Tuesday morning. Like the ad, the booklet highlights American energy production, improving education and private sector growth; continuing to strengthen the health care system and tax code; and protecting safety nets like Social Security.

Morrissey quips:

Dude, I found my second-term agenda!

The common wisdom from Halperin:

As consultants of both parties will tell you, convincing voters a candidate has a plan is far more important than the details of said plan. Romney has made some progress on this front — now it is the President’s turn.

Meanwhile, the Romney campaign is out with three new ads repackaging footage from last night's debate. This one-minute spot highlights his closing statement (ad buy size/scope unknown):

There's also a spot based on the "apology tour" lie that Romney rehashed last night. The third ad, in a surprising move, attempts to use Mitt's Navy comment to the campaign's advantage (ad buy size/scope unknown):

For their part, the outside spenders are unleashing an onslaught. The ad seen below is part of the new Bain offensive we mentioned yesterday from pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA (seven-state "multi-million dollar" buy):

Of course one of the states that ad will run in is almighty Ohio, which Domenico Montanaro points out is now the leader in ad spending, to the tune of $177 million (the previous leader was Florida, which currently sits at $174 million). Meanwhile, pro-Romney Super PAC Restore Our Future has launched their new $17.7 million ad blitz, releasing two TV spots so far. This one attacks Obama on the economy:

And this ad features a testimonial from Sgt. Peter Damon, an Iraq vet and double amputee:

Daniel Strauss details the buy:

[The ads] are set to appear in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. Spending on each state varies, with Restore Our Future putting in $1.2 million in Colorado, $4 million in Florida, $1.2 million in Iowa, $1.6 million in Michigan, $1.6 million in Nevada, $0.5 million in New Hampshire, $1.8 million in North Carolina, $3 million in Ohio, $2.9 million in Virginia and $1.3 million in Wisconsin.

Restore Our Future will also sink $300K to go up on the air in Maine in an attempt to peel off one of its two electoral votes. Then from Rove's dark-money Crossroads GPS comes a rare positive ad, as Maggie Haberman explains:

[The spot] features Ted and Pat Oparowski, who knew the Romneys through their church and whose son, David, was diagnosed with cancer in 1979. Mrs. Oparowski talks in the spot about her son and Romney developing "quite a friendship," asking Romney to help him write a will and asking him to give the eulogy at the funeral.

Mr. and Mrs. Oparowski previously told their son's story at the RNC, and earlier this month Romney began telling it on the campaign trail as well. The ad has $4.1 million behind it and will air in Ohio and Wisconsin:

But don't worry; Rove's other group, the Super PAC American Crossroads, stays true to character by pounding the president with the Benghazi story in the following web video:

Not to be outdone in desperation, dark-money Tea Party group Let Freedom Ring USA (which as far as we can tell is simply a web-video factory that never actually airs any ads) deploys a little girl with fuel costs on her mind and a president in her closet:

Looking at the digital ad battle for a moment, the Obama campaign is thus far crushing the Romney campaign:

According to research by the analytics company Moat, the Obama campaign had a 93.3% share of voice in terms of display-impression volume in September across the top 20,000 publishers, compared with the Romney campaign's 6.7%. And for the period between Sept. 1 and Oct. 14, the Obama camp had 497 creatives deployed across the web compared with the Romney camp's 90.

As an example of how one area of the two campaigns' digital strategy plays out, Charlie Warzel goes over how each campaign handled last night's debate on Twitter:

Before the debates began, the social advertising chatter surrounded the Romney campaign's sizeable buy of the worldwide promoted trend, "#CantAfford4More." Yet, 45 minutes into the debate, President Obama delivered the viral line of the night, chastising former Governor Romney for his past criticisms of the size of the Navy, telling the candidate, "We also have fewer horses and bayonets." If you've spent any time on Twitter during these debates, it was clear the line would get picked up and it did, skyrocketing immediately to the third-highest spot on Twitter's U.S. trends. According to Twitter, the comment generated 105,767 tweets per minute, the highest of the debate. The Obama campaign capitalized and bought the Promoted Tweet on the #horsesandbayonets hashtag within 15 minutes. Sure, we've seen this before, but it is proof that, no matter how silly, the candidates are willing to do whatever possible to stay inside the social conversation.

Lastly, while defense spending was a recurring topic in last night's debate, Reid Davenport reports that the defense industry has not decisively favored either candidate in the donation game, with Obama holding a slight edge over Romney.

Ad War archive here.