By Michele Moore
Over the past few months Racetalk has discussed the ways Senators John McCain and Barack Obama have used social media to get their messages out, – read here, here and here. Today, Reuters announced that Barack Obama is once again using a new medium to reach voters – this time through online video gaming.
While advertising in games has been popular for a few years now, Obama is the first Presidential candidate to buy ad space in video games. Obama is using the Internet ads to target specific voters – 18-34 year-old males who are hard to reach through traditional advertising because they spend less time watching TV and reading. The in-game banners and billboards will be used to help expand the reach of VoteforChange.com so that more people can register to vote, obtain absentee voter information or find an early voting location.
According to the article, Obama’s advertising will be featured in 18 popular online games through the Xbox Live service including “Guitar Hero 3“, “NBA Live 08” and “NFL Tour” and are targeted to 10 key battleground states where early voting is available. The ads will be targeted at gamers in particular geographical areas though the IP addresses registered with their Internet service provider when they log on to Xbox Live.
No word was mentioned on how much Obama spent on the ads, and it remains to be seen whether the ads will be effective, but it’s clear that Obama has his pulse on how to reach young voters, and that’s something that McCain still struggles with.