Digital Markets Blog presidential campaign 2008 special series on what I am calling “User Generated Politics”
UPDATE: YouTube has officially debuted its promised CitizenTube, a political vlog, "moderated" by YouTube News & Politics Editor, Steve Grove. Grove was hired by YouTube last month to "highlight must-see videos from candidates and users, and offering my own spin on the election as it unfolds on YouTube."
CitizenTube complements "YouChoose '08," YouTube's central hub of video channels created for Presidential candidates AND, most importantly, the Google-YouTube sales ambitions to capture a large Googley share of the projected $80 million online presidential 2008 campaign ad spend, as I report below.
MARCH 26: Google already winner in Clinton presidential bid I said in January, but the high stakes Google political games have only just begun.
Google financed its own headliner keynote at the Politics Online Conference held in Washington DC this month, as the number one exclusive “Platinum” corporate sponsor of the event, at a cost of a mere $30,000 (payable in two installments).
The Elliot Schrage, Google's Vice President of Global Communications and Public Affair, keynote to an estimated audience of 500 political professionals, “Online Politics in 2008,” was identified as “Sponsored by Google.”
Google also sponsored a “Make the Most of Google in 2008” workshop:
Come meet the folks leading Google and YouTube's election and campaign outreach, and learn about some of the latest advertising, analytical, search, and video tools and tips that campaigns can use to gain an edge in 2008.
Google’s political investment in The George Washington University, Graduate School of Political Management, The Institute for Politics Democracy & the Internet event also entitled the number one search engine to:
6” x 6” exhibitor booth space in high traffic area,
Sponsor podium acknowledgement by Carol Darr, Director, Institute for Politics Democracy and the Internet,
Identified as Platinum (Exclusive) sponsor on all conference signage,
1 full page color advertisement in the conference magazine,
Sponsor logo displayed on the cover of the conference magazine,
Sponsor recognized as Platinum (Exclusive) sponsor in conference magazine,
Opportunity to include sponsor produced promotional material in conference guest bag
Sponsor recognized as Platinum (Exclusive) sponsor on conference press releases and email marketing,
Sponsor recognized as Platinum (Exclusive) sponsor on conference web site with sponsor's logo, link and brief description...
Who does Google want to offer its political outreach to? Online politicos of all descriptions: political consultants, lobbyists, congressional staffers, trade association representatives…
For $150 billion market cap Google, $30,000 is political peanuts, but Google’s strategic secrecy stance makes it generally conference averse (see “Google Local squeezes Yellow Pages, Online Directories).
Why did Google make such a public, showy political push in our nation’s capital then? The desire for 1) Presidential influence and 2) Presidential campaign dollars.
Right out of his keynote gate, Schrage noted Google’s financial interest in Presidential Campaign 2008, underscoring how Google‘s “powerful tools” can make campaigns more successful:
Tens of thousands of dollars are already being spent by Presidential campaigns on AdWords,
$80 million total online spend is projected for Presidential campaign 2008.
Schrage then proceeded with a Google-YouTube product demo.
Schrage extolled Google’s impact in extending “Founding Fathers” principles while nevertheless pointing out information and privacy risks. He illustrated with a not so funny quip, “Google itself faces charges every day that we know everything about everyone, and we do.”
Google will not be shy about videotaping Presidential candidates, for YouTube of course. Google has invited all of the Presidential hopefuls to the Googleplex for a Googley meet and greet.
Schrage emphasized Google “wants to be a partner with all of you so we can make your campaigns more successful.” How so?
Schrage proudly announced the formation of a “special” Google Sales & Policy Team, to help make buying Google Presidential campaign AdWords even easier.
Obama trounces Clinton in online campaign money grab
Hillary Clinton snags $4.2 million online
Clinton ‘double-team’ in race for campaign millions
Hillary Clinton, Democrats lead Republicans in Web race to the White House
Google wins big as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama battle
YouTube: Presidential candidates cool
STAY TUNED TO THIS DIGITAL MARKETS BLOG FOR CONTINUING COVERAGE OF WHAT I AM CALLING “USER GENERATED POLITICS” 2008