President Barack Obama’s team used cable TV to outmaneuver Mitt Romney’s campaign in the final days before the election, according to a Reuters analysis. 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. Obama’s team used the fragmentation of cable TV’s audience to target tailored messages to voters in battleground states. 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, according to the analysis. “We don’t know why. This was a week before the election and you’re in the fight for your life,” said Timothy Kay, political director for cable industry consortium NCC Media.
UPDATE: Obama Praises Anne Hathaway As “Best Thing” In ‘Dark Knight Rises’; Harvey Weinstein Praises Obama As “The Paul Newman Of Presidents” At Campaign Fundraiser
3RD UPDATE, 5:54 PM: President Barack Obama at a Hollywood-studded fundraiser tonight reviewed The Dark Knight Rises and Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman performance. “She’s spectacular. I got a chance to see Batman, and she was the best thing in it. That’s just my personal opinion.” Obama said. After an intro by Weinstein calling Obama “The Paul Newman of American presidents”, POTUS also praised The Newsroom’s Aaron Sorkin. The fundraiser was hosted by Hathaway, Sorkin, Paul Newman’s widow Joanne Woodward, and Weinstein at the producer’s Connecticut home. Tickets went for $35,800 each. The 60 guests included Vogue editor Anna Wintour and TV talk show host Jerry Springer. Here’s the condensed of the White House Pool Report which includes a description of Harv’s country estate:
The motorcade departed Stamford at 7:13 p.m. and, after a short trip north on I-95, arrived at 7:33 p.m. at the Westport home of movie producer Harvey Weinstein and his wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman. Along the way in Westport there were clusters of supporters along the road, waving, some holding signs such as “Westport loves Obama.”
Upon arriving at the estate, your pool was led up a long driveway, past the valet parking sign, past the broad lawn dotted with weeping willows and a badminton court, to the home. It’s a two-story, graceful, white home with black shutters, looking like a large, updated classic New England farmhouse (reportedly 8,900 square feet). Poolers eventually were led into a room
UPDATE 6:15 PM: President Obama tonight is raising more Hollywood millions in New York at Sarah Jessica Parker’s West Village brownstone and at Mariah Carey’s event at the Plaza Hotel. The Parker event is co-hosted by Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Including tonight’s two events, Obama has had 19 celebrity fundraisers raising an estimated $51 million for his reelection campaign. This is now becoming a routine for Obama: he flies to one coast or the other, hangs with the glitterati, praises them effusively, and then takes the money and runs. Parker’s event was identical to the George Clooney fundraiser except smaller: the dinner consisted of about 50 guests at $40,000 a ticket with a lotto small donor winner trying to spend a “New York Night” with Obama. (The winner was Robin Hunt, a hospital administrator who brought her mother.) Parker appeared in the Obama campaign’s first national ad that debuted on the MTV Movie Awards on June 3rd. (The actress said in the ad that people should vote for Obama because he’s “the guy who ended the war in Iraq, the guy who says you should be able to marry anyone you want, and the guy who created four million new jobs — that guy.”) Get this: when the Obamas left the Parker/Wintour event at about 6:05 PM PT, the two women came outside and waved goodbye as the prez headed to his next fundraiser. At …
If you hate political ads, then I have bad news for you: Next year, White House and congressional candidates will flood television and other media with campaign messages as the 2012 election shapes up as the most expensive in history. Democrats and Republicans are already squeezing contributors because spending will soar as this is the first election in more than a decade without limits on corporate and union contributions. TV stations will benefit most: In 2010 about 75% of ad budgets went to broadcast TV vs. 7.9% for cable and 4.3% for Web destinations, according to PQ Media. But a lot could change this time out. Here are some of the key questions:
How much will be spent on advertising? It’ll be a record, but there’s no consensus on the likely total. Research firm Washington Analysis projects $4 billion, up from $3.2 billion in 2010 and $2.6 billion in 2008. Moody’s Investors Service says spending in 2012 could rise as much as 18% vs 2010 in “an unprecedented frenzy.” That strikes some as too high in a year with few gubernatorial races and — unlike in 2008 — no contest for the Democratic presidential nomination. “I don’t think it’s going to be a whole lot bigger than 2010,” says Jack Poor, who tracks political spending for the Television Bureau of Advertising. “If I were to take a wild guess, I’d say 10%.”
Will cable operators take political ads from broadcast TV? Hope springs eternal among cable companies. They say that their ability to target messages to communities makes them more cost effective than TV stations that transmit to a large region. But politicos don’t seem to agree. “If you add those (local) areas up it isn’t necessarily less expensive than (it is) to buy the whole market” on broadcast TV, former Obama political advisor David Axelrod told cable executives recently. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie says much the same thing: “If the president has $1 billion to spend, he’ll buy American Idol and NCIS. And our candidate will be buying the Cooking Channel in Akron, Ohio.” Cable executives say they may have to eat those words. “I don’t know what (Axelrod) is talking about,” says Andrew Capone of NCC Media -– the local cable ad sales firm owned by Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox. “Every single year more money has flowed to spot cable.”
What about the Internet? Candidates are intrigued. Locally focused sites “will see a significant increase from a low dollar base,” says Kathleen Keefe, Hearst Television’s VP of sales.
Simon & Schuster today is about to market the heck out of O, its anonymously written and self-proclaimed provocative novel about Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. That’s right — the campaign that hasn’t happened yet. Supposedly, it’s penned by someone “who’s been in the room with Obama”. This is kinda different from Primary Colors, the thinly disguised roman a clef about Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and also written anonymously until journalist Joe Klein came forward to claim responsibility. That novel sold a ton of copies for rival publishing house Random House, and S&S is obviously trying to capitalize on that success. Will Hollywood bite? “We haven’t discussed it with anyone yet, but it’s early, and no one’s read a thing about it until today,” S&S publisher Jonathan Karp just told Deadline.
Primary Colors was deemed a stiff at the box office when Universal made it into a comedy in 1998 with Mike Nichols directing and Elaine May writing the adapted screenplay. Still, that script was nominated for an Oscar along with Kathy Bates for Supporting Actress. S&S is owned by CBS Inc, so maybe Showtime or even CBS Films might get a crack at it first. Meantime, here’s a (satirical) memo Karp just sent his authors:
On January 25, we’ll be publishing a secret novel simply titled O, about President Obama’s campaign for re-election in 2012. The author of the novel wishes to remain anonymous. You may be asked to comment on whether or not you are the author. If