In the high-stakes Georgia Senate runoff elections, an advertising data and analytics company is utilizing artificial intelligence to dissect the massive spending by political groups to influence voters. The firm, AdImpact, captures TV, radio and digital ad data across markets and then leverages AI to unlock insights around campaign strategies and messaging.
With control of the U.S. Senate at stake, the two Georgia races have driven record-shattering political ad spending. Republican incumbent Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler face Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock respectively in the January 5th runoffs.
According to AdImpact, ad spending around the Georgia runoffs has surpassed $468 million across TV and radio, making it the most expensive federal election to date. Spending is expected to top $500 million total by the Election Day. Their AI and machine learning technologies allow AdImpact to ingest and process ad data to reveal trends and strategies.
For instance, the firm’s AI tracks where ads are appearing, how many times they run and uses audio transcription to analyze messaging content. This enables them to pick up on shift in targeting certain voter segments or issues as voting day nears. The AI also compares current ad spending to historic averages.
Some key insights the AI has uncovered around the Georgia runoff spending include:
– Ad Volumes Far Exceed Past Elections – Runoff ad spending is 5 times higher than the previous record set in the 2020 North Carolina Senate race.
– Massive Out-of-State Spending – Over 90% of ad spending is from national Groups, PACs and political parties, not the candidates.
– GOP Spending More on Loeffler – Republican groups have spent $108 million more backing Loeffler than Perdue.
– Dems Targeting Black Voters – Ossoff and Warnock have run 77% of their ads on TV networks with majority black audiences.
– Late Shift in Messaging – Both parties increased attack ads and pivoted messaging to health care and COVID response in late December.
– Digital Spending Doubles typical Levels – Runoff digital ad spending reached $81 million, double a typical Senate election.
Having an AI system ingest and break down the advertising data enables AdImpact to pick up on these kind of insights almost instantly as spending ramps up. This allows their analysts to see how campaign strategists are allocating resources day-to-day based on voter response and polling.
The AI accomplishes this by first capturing comprehensive data on ad purchases and placements across media markets statewide. Natural language processing is then used to extract messaging details from digital, radio and TV ad transcripts.
Computer vision techniques can even identify individuals appearing in an ad spot. This allows the AI to detect shifts to feature certain public figures more prominently over time. The system indexes all these data fields so they can be filtered, sorted and queried using machine learning algorithms.
According to AdImpact CEO Lynn Browne, this AI-powered analysis helps media buyers optimize mid-campaign and informs post-election strategizing. Political scientists also leverage their platform for deeper study into the effectiveness of messaging.
With the technology processing vast volumes of political advertising data, the firm can deliver insights to clients that would be impossible to manually track across all media channels. And the AI is able to recognize emerging trends and strategies in real-time versus waiting on manual analysis.
AdImpact plans to continue refining its AI modelling and machine learning capabilities for even more detailed dissection of campaign ad spending. The Georgia Senate runoffs provide a valuable trove of data for the systems to ingest and analyze at an unprecedented scale.
And with political ad spending expected to keep breaking records, having an intelligent system capable of processing and learning from the data will be crucial. AdImpact’s AI provides a template for shining a light on strategic messaging decisions and voter targeting in major elections.