Obama and Romney are using Google AdWords in an effort to control the message online. But how effective are they, and which issues do they think are important enough to warrant online ad spend? Here's how they stack up:
Romney is capitalizing on the buzz that will inevitably precede his VP selection. Google "Romney VP short list" and you'll see an add promoting his new app.
Obama wisely doesn't have any ads if you search for "Obama VP short list" but if you search for "Obama Biden" the message is "we've come a long way, but there's still more to be done."
PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN MOBILE APPS
Searching for "Romney app" leads to the ad shown further above, whereas Obama is promoting his own app to those searching for it.
IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID
What message are the candidates trying to push on the economy and unemployment? The Romney campaign has cleverly hijacked the search phrase "Obama on the economy" with their pro-business message "you did build it," along with a call-to-action to download a sign. If you search for "Romney on the economy" you'll find his message "Romney wants less federal spending and regulation," plus a call-to-action to donate money.
On the issue of unemployment, the Obama campaign is mum (at least on AdWords) where as Romney promotes his message of "free enterprise, hard work, and innovation," plus -- surprise, surprise -- a call-to-action to donate.
On the issue of job creation, Obama ads are again absent and Romney wants to "get America back to work" -- oh yeah, and "donate $5 now".
FOREIGN POLICY, GAY MARRIAGE, IMMIGRATION, GUN CONTROL
No Google ads from either campaign for these issues.
Obama is playing defense if you search for "Obama care" with his message "I'm proud of Obamacare - Because it works".
Search for "Romney care" and you'll find that Romney will "Repeal Obamacare as Quickly as Possible". However, if you search for "Romneycare" (one word) you will find...nothing.
For those looking for attack ads on either candidate, they'll find a pro-jobs message from Romney and nothing from Obama.
Score one the President when it comes to the first lady -- not only does the Obama campaign have an ad if you search for "Michelle Obama", but she gets top billing in the copy. Search for "Ann Romney" and you'll come up empty (in the ad space, that is).
So who is the winner in this online advertising battle between Obama and Romney? Why, Google, of course.
Related post: Obama, Romney, and Pelosi email marketing