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The Future of Political Advertising is Here

Political spots get very, very personal.
relates to The Future of Political Advertising is Here
Photograph by Flickr/Shankar S.

The blunt tool of television advertising is getting sharpened in this  year's midterms. The latest craze: Allowing a candidate to target you and your neighbor with completely different messages–even if you're watching the same show, at the same time, on the same block.

DISH Network Corp. and DirecTV–competing satellite TV providers–teamed up this year to offer campaigns a chance to sell ads to segments of their audiences.  Using demographic data, campaigns decide which viewers should see each ad (i.e. rural Republicans who drive hybrid vehicles) and the spot is seen only in those homes–unlike a traditional television commercial, which is broadcast to all viewers simultaneously. In short, the campaigns know who you are and what you watch, and they plan accordingly.