Ad War Wrap

Andrew Sullivan —  Nov 6 2012 @ 6:45pm

If you want to know what it's been like for a swing-state resident recently, watch this – if you can bear it:

Specifically, the video is a "compressed recording of [last] Thursday's noon news broadcast on the Columbus, Ohio, CBS affiliate," via Jed Lewison:

If you didn't have the patience to watch the entire clip, I don't blame you. Here's what you missed:

* Just over 10 minutes worth of political ads packed into a half-hour newscast
* 22 consecutive political ads (including 1 voter ID PSA) 5 ads attacking Obama (all from outside groups)
* 2 ads supporting Romney (one from Romney campaign, one from Crossroads)
* 2 ads attacking Romney (one from OFA, one from Priorities)
* 4 ads attacking Sherrod Brown (all outside groups)
* 1 ad supporting Sherrod Brown (from his campaign)
* The rest of the ads were for local ballot issues or candidates

Keep in mind that local news is the absolute worst as far as being wall-to-wall political advertising is concerned. On Friday, I saw 45 consecutive political ads during the evening broadcast with a similar mix to the one posted here. With such saturation, I can't imagine that any of the ads on local news will have any impact, at least not for the high profile races. There's just no way to process the ads without having your eyes glaze over.

Meanwhile, Haberman passes along some last-minute gloating from Team Romney:

The Mitt Romney campaign held its final pre-election phone call with Washington insiders, "elites" and others this morning, telling those on the phone that they outspent President Obama's team on the TV airwaves the final week of the campaign and that their polling shows them slightly ahead in Ohio, sources familiar with the conversation said. Officials on the call said the Romney campaign had spent $103 million on ads, compared with $53 million by the Obama team, the sources said. They also said to their surrogates they were slightly ahead heading into Ohio in their final internal polls.

Charlie Warzel notes a late uptick in the digital ad war, including a very late surge for Romney:

By October, both candidates ramped up their digital display output, with Obama landing in the fourth spot on Moat's ranker, while Romney eeked into Most's list as the 100th most active advertiser (again, based on volume, not display). The very early November data shows both candidates continuing to dial up their Web presences, as Obama ascended to the No. 2 spot, while Romney climbed to No. 5.

Of course, it's unclear just how important digital display advertising will prove to be in this campaign. These figures are, however, some indicator of the campaigns' faith in the Internet as a persuasion medium. As it has been throughout the general election cycle, the Obama campaign seems to have invested early and often in online advertising whereas the Romney campaign has been more reticent, opting for higher engagement video ads and investing heavily in TV spend.

Romney's concluding web video:

Meanwhile, the Obama campaign releases this cut of the president's final campaign event (ever) in Iowa last night:

Watch here for the segment of the speech where an emotional Obama tells the "Fired Up! Ready To Go!" story one last time. Lastly, Buzzfeed got a hold of some never-approved political ads crafted by a Democratic marketing firm, among them this gruesome Bain attack:

Ad War archive here.