Jacobs explained that these new forms of advertising should be added to, not used to replace, traditional forms of campaign outreach.
“You may get them when they’re watching TV as well, but wherever their eyeballs are, that’s where you want to be,” he said, explaining that radio, television and now online ads have never replaced things like town hall meetings or knocking on doors.
Users can expect to see campaign ads on video games as well.
In 2008, Obama’s campaign ran in-game advertisements on Microsoft’s video game console Xbox 360. According to a release on Microsoft’s website, the campaign ads ran in the game “Burnout Paradise,” where users would drive their virtual cars past billboards featuring Obama’s picture and urging users to visit the campaign website, VoteForChange.com.
According to Julie Germany, vice president of public affairs firm DCI Group, these are the kinds of platforms that politicians should be paying attention to, even though they tend to be nonpolitical in nature.
“As our entertainment and media-consumption habits change, political campaigns will need to adjust their communications, persuasion and outreach tactics,” she said in an email. “Where blogger outreach, online and mobile advertising and social media are all being used to reach voters today, other tools, including interactive outreach on entertainment systems like the Xbox, will reach voters tomorrow.”
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