March 8, 2016
The era of political advertising on TV is far from dead — just take a look at all the action in political TV ads over the past 24 hours. But it’s also true that the ways that people can avoid such advertising have increased in recent years, as they choose to stream their favorite shows or record and skip over ads.
Enter the project I Agree to See, writes Roll Call columnist Warren Rojas, which seeks to create an audience of people who actually like to watch political ads. The site was created by Storefront Political Media, a Democratic consulting firm based in San Francisco. The firm claims there are some 250,000 users of the site who come to watch the ads that are archived there, and which are divided into categories such as “attack,” “funny,” and “outrageous.”
“By virtue of the fact that they are opting in, they’re not like the average voter,” the founder of Storefront Political Media, Eric Jaye, told Roll Call, describing the participants as swing voters, intensive researchers and political “influencers” who friends and family often turn to for advice. The idea is to direct political advertisers to an audience that will engage with the material and “cut out the advertising “middle man,” e.g. broadcast and network companies.
Rojas also mentions the Political TV Ad Archive as a resource for following political advertising in the 2016 elections, as well as some other sites that provide different types of resources for those who want to delve into political ads. These include Honest Ads, a nonprofit group that advocates people to hold political advertisers accountable for their messages; The Living Room Candidate, an archive of ads from presidential campaigns, dating back to 1952; and the Political Communication Lab, an archive of gubernatorial and presidential ads maintained by Stanford University.