Romney SuperPAC Goes Retro Targeting Battleground Voters

I like the “different” thinking by the pro-Romney SuperPAC Ending Spending Action Fund.  This group is better know by its main backer Joe Rickets, founder of TD Ameritrade:

This is the point in the presidential race where voters have been slammed with so many TV ads that campaign strategists wonder how they can possibly cut through the clamor.

And that can lead to some unorthodox tactics.

In a retro move for a new media age, one conservative super PAC is spending more than $1 million in Wisconsin and four other battlegrounds on a breezy, pro-Romney, 12-page color “magazine” for insert into daily and weekly newspapers. It features boosterish profiles of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and even comes with a campaign-themed crossword puzzle (clue for 1 Down is the “the burger company where Paul Ryan worked as a kid”).

“We’re trying to get outside the clutter box,” says Will Feltus, who did media buying and targeting for the 2004 Bush re-election effort, and is now working on the $10 million independent ad campaign funded by conservative billionaire Joe Ricketts, founder of TD Ameritrade.

A lot of that $10 million has gone into TV, radio and online ads. But the newspaper insert, so popular with big retailers, is an unusual vehicle for a political campaign. The group’s rationale is two-fold:

  • the airwaves are almost hopelessly saturated with TV spots, and
  • newspaper readers are highly cost-effective targets for political communications because of their propensity to vote.

The group, Ending Spending Action Fund, says it has printed more than 4 million inserts for distribution in Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, Virginia and Florida. They will show up in some weekly papers on Thursday and daily papers on Sunday.

“The basic idea is that print is the new ‘new media,’” says Feltus, citing data from Scarborough Research that shows the correlation between voting and media consumption is stronger for newspaper use than for TV, radio or the Internet. The chart below was put together by Feltus’ firm, National Media Inc., based on Scarborough’s 2011 surveys of more than 200,000 adults.


  1. TeaPartyPaul
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Amen!!!! WOW…all these republican voter groups are takin MUCH different tacs…from the NRA, to the FRC, to this PAC. KEEP IT UP!

  2. Jon
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Interesting tactic! Could it be the republicans save the print?

  3. Utah Libertarian
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The older the demographic, two things are likely – 1) they are more likely to read a print newspaper, and 2) they are more likely to vote. Ergo, target marketing at it’s best.

  4. Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink | Reply


    Even Democrats and the MSM laughed in Obama’s face with his 20-page “serious” glossy.

    Not sure a 12-page “funny” glossy will go down too well…..

    • Jan
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Well, there is a slight difference of course. In case of the ‘2nd term agenda’ the candidate was proudly swinging with it on stage, whereas this print is issued by a PAC..

  5. spottedreptile
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I want one. I’d love to do the campaign crossword puzzle! Just the thing for those unproductive visits to the you-know-what. “4 down: Toilet-inducing (5).”

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