Company Aims To Enhance Voter Targeting

By John Celock

A technology used to help New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) last year has been patented as its founder says it will change how campaign contact voters in the future.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded a patent to Advance Partners for a new technology that the company says will allow more micro targeted advertising to campaigns on digital and mobile devices. Jeff Dittus, the Pennsylvania firm’s CEO and co-founder, said that the program can help campaigns target more specific voters going forward.

“The ability to target only people who vote by their congressional district or state legislation district is an important tool for campaigns,” Dittus told The Celock Report.

Dittus said the program review voter registration records and merges them with online cookies and access to over 100 million mobile devices in order to create customized advertising for campaigns. He said this would allow for campaigns and advocacy groups to tailor ads to specific more frequent voters in their districts and states.

The ads can be targeted for mobile devices and digital television. Dittus said the program can also help target campaign advertising to specific voter interests, based on issues identified to campaigns and on social media.

Advance Partners has been working on the technology for several years, including working with several campaigns testing out the program. Dittus said the company has seen return clients over the years.

One of the campaigns used for testing was Christie’s landslide reelection campaign last year over Democrat Barbara Buono. Dittus said the company used various digital ads for Christie including ones targeting specifically voters who would likely vote for Christie but would either not have the time to vote or would not have access to traditional television based advertising.

Among the practices used for the New Jersey governor was a calendar ad, which specifically targeted likely Christie voters with calendar updates on the morning of Election Day to remind them to vote.

“We had 25,000 wake up on Election Day and get an alarm to go vote,” he said.

Going forward, Dittus said that the company is also working with issue campaigns. He said the tailoring of issue ads can be used in the states that have marijuana legalization referendums this year by customizing the ads based on voters thoughts on the issue. He said this will be a focus for the company in future advertising.

“You pick the issues, immigration, gun control, Obamacare, government dysfunction, every issue you can imagine we’re applying the set,” he said.