As political experts assess Republican Mitt Romney's failed U.S. presidential bid, an analysis of how his campaign and President Barack Obama's winning team used cable TV to target ads at specific groups of voters may offer some valuable tips for the future.
During the final weeks before the Nov. 6 election, with polls showing a tight race, Obama's campaign exploited cable TV's diverse lineup to target women on channels such as Food Network and Lifetime and men on networks such as ESPN.
The Obama team used the fragmentation of cable TV's audience to its fullest advantage to target tailored messages to voters in battleground states.
Meanwhile, Romney's campaign relied on a more traditional mass saturation of broadcast TV. The Romney camp was entirely dark on cable TV for two of the campaign's last seven days.
For instance, the Obama campaign identified zip codes surrounding Ohio tire-manufacturing plants and purchased cable ads touting Obama's efforts to block tire imports from China.
Obama ran 600,000 cable ads to the Romney's 300,000 around the nation during the campaign, said NCC's Kay. Obama's cable TV push started in April. Romney's began in September.
Obama's team also mixed and matched its messages to sharpen the appeal in key counties.