It appears that the Minnesota Republican Party’s return on investment was pretty good on their TV ad buy regarding the transportation bill. Comcast says the ad will run 82 times this week on Fox News. No other metro station is running the ad. The total cost in the metro area: $10k.
Compare that with the amount of coverage the ad received after MnGOP Chair Ron Carey held a news conference to announce the ad buy. He wouldn’t detail the size of the ad buy except to say it was significant.
What was significant was the news coverage. MPR and WCCO radio ran stories on the ad during newscasts. The Pi Press, the Star Tribune, KSTP, Fox9 and AP had stories on the ad. Also, WCCO reality checked the ad on Wednesday. I’m told KARE also ran a story on the ad.
Judging by the targeted audience (Fox News) and the plea for fundraising and personal info on the website, the ad may be more of a party building tool than a call for action.
As one colleague put it “They really earned that earned media.”
UPDATED QUESTIONS: This is a dilemma that newsrooms and reporters struggle with. When is it appropriate to cover an ad? How should we go about covering the ad? Does the size of the ad buy matter or is it the content? Does it matter if the ad is on TV or just a web ad?