As the Obama and Romney campaigns gear up for November, The Weather Channel is trying to take advantage of election fever — partnering with targeted mobile ad provider Jumptap to host political ads on its mobile and tablet platforms.
The affiliation will combine TWC’s vast mobile reach — more than 30 million monthly users, which is second only to Facebook — and hyperlocal targeting, given users enter a zip code location to fetch their local forecast, with Jumptap’s mobile consumer data portfolio. Through third-party partnerships with political-oriented data providers such as Catalist and i360, Jumptap offers advertisers hyperlocal intel that includes voting tendencies, social issue stances and more, helping campaigns reach a specific base to promote turnout and recruit donors or volunteers.
With convention season around the corner and political ad spending scheduled to reach $9.8 billion this year, according to a report by Borrell Associates, the partnership should be a profitable one for TWC. Although mobile is only expected to derive a small portion of that pie, political campaigns all the way down to mayoral hopefuls in small-to-medium-sized towns will hardly hesitate to reach a younger, mobile-savvy voter base that increasingly uses smartphones to access information.
The Atlanta-based TWC has been active in hyperlocal this summer, having partnered with PlaceIQ in June to deliver targeted location and time-based mobile ads to users. And with many consumers on their mobile products several times a day, targeted political ads could essentially be another way of campaigns employing volunteers to knock on doors and phone constituents.
“As a leader in SoLoMo [Social-Local-Mobile], we always want to push the envelope to see what’s possible,” Patrick McCormack, TWC’s vice president of mobile sales and strategy, told Street Fight. “We think the revenue opportunity is significant — we’re bullish on it because we know that the mobile phone is the optimal way to reach people anytime, anywhere and certainly when they’re out to vote.”
With TWC’s hyperlocal mobile reach, which extends far beyond even what a media company could offer, Jumptap has a recognizable content provider to host these ads. Print and TV remain the top political ad mediums, but Paran Johar, Jumptap’s chief marketing officer, told Street Fight that younger mobile users are spending approximately 10 percent of their media time on mobile, offering campaigns a new way to reach a younger constituency that defined the 2008 election.
“This year should be considered a building year for mobile within election campaigns,” Johar said. “We’ve recognized a clear trend and opportunity, hence our increased efforts toward the political sector.”
Patrick Duprey is an intern at Street Fight.