Getting an Edge
Cornfield suggested that such ads, aimed at relatively young voters, might be an effort to develop a lifelong loyalty. In addition, such efforts speak to the closeness of the 2004 election. "Getting them is a way to get an edge in a deadlocked election," he said. Cornfield also noted that its too early to tell whether the AIM video ads will be used by groups such as The November Fund in the future. "Its dependent on the perceived results," he said, adding that the Republicans have abandoned banner ads because they werent seen as being effective. Click here to read about spam sent over instant messaging networks.But the video ads might have a longer life. "Our results show click-through rates that are three times normal," Karnes said. He said his studies also indicate that most people receiving the video ad watch it for the entire 30-second run.Karnes said this type of ad is successful for his client because of a low rate of negative responses coupled with some passionate support, usually from members of the medical profession. Overall, this form of advertising, along with other political advertising on the Internet, is going to grow. "Its more effective than direct mail or billboards," said Randy Flood, CEO of the Commonwealth Policy Institute Network, a nonpartisan, virtual think tank based in Washington. "Its only going to grow," he said. While Flood wonders how effective the ads will be, he said he thinks theyll be effective enough to become a standard part of campaign fare. "Its the wave of the future," he said. Wayne Rash is author of "Politics on the Nets" from W.H. Freeman. Check out eWEEK.coms Messaging & Collaboration Center at http://messaging.eweek.com for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.