The Mystery of Mayor Durkan's Winning Pandora Playlist

Comments

1
How about:
It received 558,465 impressions (Suggesting that some people heard the ad more than once.)
2
I'm starting to think that Eli has no idea how targeted marketing works.
3
@1: That's indeed possible, which is why I wrote "could have." But even if everyone who heard this pro-Durkan ad heard it twice, that's still over 90,000 more people than actually voted in the primary. Point is that the reach is potentially vast, in terms of number of impressions for the price paid, and also potentially finely tuned, in terms of targeting to a particular audience. Overall point is that we don't know the exact targeting and reach, though the law says we should know the "exact nature and extent."
4
Any updates on what urban planning activities Cary Moon is working on?
5
Isn’t it possible that they are being honest and the ad was “targeted” at all Seattle Pandora users over age 18? I agree that precision marketing can be creepy, but broad targeting in this case seems both reasonable and in line with the impressions figures.

I don’t use Pandora, but many streaming apps play the same ads constantly (I have seen the same commercial every time I re-open the March Madness app, which means I’ve seen it at least 1000 times) so each user hearing the ad only once seems very unlikely.

Is there some reason to suspect they’re lying (other than a desire to overstate the sophistication of their marketing capabilities)?
6
(I’m definitely not making excuses for Durkan or apologies for nefarious online targeting — just guessing that she had a lot of money and no reason to tinker with what seems like a fairly inexpensive ad buy for a wide reach).
7
@5: The issue is whether the "exact nature and extent" has been disclosed, as required by Seattle (and state) law.

Wayne Barnett, director of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, has said that when it comes to political ads targeting our local elections, he is looking for digital advertising companies to disclose "information on the intended and actual audiences for the ads."

So far, disclosures from Google and Facebook have both fallen short of providing the "intended and actual audiences" for all ads aimed at Seattle's 2017 municipal elections. So in that sense, there is recent precedent for digital media companies coming forward with partial, but not full, disclosure around Seattle political ads.

Pandora has not said whether what it disclosed represents the "exact" ad targeting chosen by each campaign, or just a partial representation of the full targeting choices made for each ad.

By the way, information on each ad's "actual" audience, as desired by Barnett, could resolve the earlier question you raised.
8
@5: Exactly. I have no idea why Eli thinks that "exact nature and extent" is the same thing as "exact targeting and reach". Does Eli want names and addresses of each receipient of the 558,000 impressions (which is actually probably fewer than 10,000 people)? I'm not sure what the story is here.
9
Politician buys radio ads.

Snoooozzzeeeee.

How many times do you see the same ads on TV? How do you think they end up during certain shows?
10
Cue more Stranger outrage cause Cary Moon lost.
11
The pro-Durkan ad, according to Pandora, was targeted at people over the age of 18 in the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area in the run-up to the August 1, 2017 mayoral primary. It received 558,465 impressions.

But as micro-targeting goes, including a huge swath of persons ineligible to vote in Seattle’s elections (“... in the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area...”) seems amateurish. Especially when compared to,

Every single zip code in North Seattle, for example, was targeted by Lindsay—except the one covering the University of Washington, which would have been on summer break at the time.

And finally, we get the equation of two things which are most definitely not the same:

How, exactly, did "People for Jenny Durkan" use Pandora's robust targeting capabilities to help Durkan win the primary?

Um, by targeting ads at persons of age to vote in the Seattle area?

Although Seattle law says Pandora should publicly disclose the "exact nature and extent" of its services to this campaign, we still don't know.

That’s because the law doesn’t require anyone to explain how a candidate won a primary, especially if nothing illegal is suspected.
12
@3 Yeesh. Either you wrote that “could have” statement without knowing the difference between impressions and unique listeners, or you wrote it to be deliberately deceptive. Do you think it unlikely that a radio listener hear the same advertisement two or more times?
13

Here’s the definition of who has a duty to report political advertising under this law:


"Commercial advertiser" means any person who sells the service of communicating messages or producing political advertising.


To me it’s clear that The Stranger is included in this definition. Seriously, why haven’t you all published your own disclosure if this is so important? (Answer: it’s not important.)