Google Takes Political Online Ads Local, Allows Campaigns To Target Congressional Districts

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Google’s tools for tracking the upcoming U.S. election later this year mostly focus on the presidential election. It’s no secret that Google – thanks to its various advertising services – also makes a good amount of money from the various political campaigns that compete in smaller contests, including the 435 races for seats in the House of Representatives this year. This year, thanks to the recent redistricting of many congressional districts, quite a few of these races are very different from just two years ago and many districts now include new media markets that can make reaching voters hard.

Today, Google launched a new tool that allows political campaigns to simply select their district and ensure that their ads are shown only within their district. This tool, says Google, allows campaigns to “quickly and easily target their search, display, mobile and video ads solely within that particular district’s border.”

Google says it “built a sizeable team” that’s helping candidates with their online advertising efforts. With its “Four Screen To Victory” program, the company is clearly putting a strong effort on bringing political campaigns (and their advertising budget) on board with AdWords and its other tools.

Just last month, Google also launched the ability to target U.S. ZIP codes which gives political campaigns (and anybody else who wants to advertise locally) the ability to target specific areas in their district. While Google hasn’t announced how many political campaigns are using its tools, the company today said that “thousands” of political campaigns are using its tools.

As Gerrit Lansing, the digital director of the National Republican Congressional Committee told the Wall Street Journal earlier today, his team is already taking advantage of this new tool. ““Any time you can be more specific in your advertising it is a big benefit to a political campaign. The ability to draw a precise circle around these convoluted districts is a big deal, and we’ll be taking full advantage.”