Another ad asking voters to "Help Trump make history" is a
thinly-veiled reminder that Ms. Clinton has campaigned on the
notion that a win for her -- making her the first woman U.S.
president -- would be historically significant. Indeed, the Hillary
Victory Fund, her joint fundraising committee with the Democratic
National Committee and state parties,
has run online display ads featuring a proud Ms. Clinton and
the slogan "History made."
The Trump camp recently has also relied on text messaging to
paint Ms. Clinton as a liar who "broke the rules and lied about
it." A text message sent today to voters who have opted-in to
receive them references her controversial use of a personal email
server while serving as secretary of state.
Typically, political candidates rely on their surrogate PACs and
advocacy groups to run negative ad messages. However, this election
has proved especially fertile ground for mudslinging. While not as
cutthroat as Mr. Trump's "Crooked Hillary" mantra, a smattering of
ads from the Hillary Victory Fund have asked voters to "Tell Trump:
America is already great."
The cash-strapped Trump campaign, which reported just $1.3
million on hand at the end of May in contrast with the Clinton
camp's $42 million, also only recently started asking supporters
donations in emails.
Most of the recent Trump campaign ads ask for people to click to
donate, or state "Stand with Trump," or "Support Trump." The Trump
camp's digital ad toe-dip may come too late to catch up with the
Clinton campaign on the fundraising front. Online display
advertising has been a common practice used for list-building and
fundraising for several election cycles, but it takes months to
build a robust list of supporter names, emails and other contact
information. Typically for political advertisers, the idea is to
generate a database of supporters who can be contacted over and
over via email and otherwise to garner donations.
According to Moat Pro, many of the Trump campaign ads appear to
be turning up on long-tail websites, suggesting they've been aimed
at people who have already visited the Trump site, using
retargeting methods. The Trump campaign site features several ad
technologies used to target site visitors through ads across the
web, including DoubleClick, Exelate, Rocket Fuel and
X+1. Facebook and Twitter ad tags are also
present, according to ad-tag-tracking software Ghostery.
NBC News first reported the presence of the tags on June 27,
and some have speculated that the news led to a
stock price rally for Rocket Fuel.
According to its most recent Federal Election Commission
filings, the Trump campaign
spent more than $842,000 on website and digital consulting with
San Antonio-based firm Giles-Parscale in April and May. An
additional $35,000 in April went to Draper Sterling, a little-known
company the campaign paid for online ad services. The agency
recently generated media attention for its "Mad Men"-inspired name
and the fact that it was just established this year.
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request to comment for