The Guardian reports:
Over the course of 2019, the Trump campaign spent nearly $20 million on more than 218,000 different Facebook ads, a new Guardian analysis shows. Among the ads were some of the images and videos that made front-page news for their xenophobic, fear-mongering, vitriolic, and outright false rhetoric.
But the campaign also ran a decidedly mundane social media campaign featuring classic marketing ploys designed to harvest user data. Considering the fact that the campaign has run these ads – which are largely substance-free and appear designed to maximize engagement with simple requests – over and over again, they were probably very effective.
The “Official Approval Poll” ads send Trump supporters to a “job performance survey” designed to collect email addresses. This particular format – two sentences of copy atop one of a handful of portraits of Trump – garnered at least 48.9m “impressions”. The campaign launched hundreds of versions of the ad every few days – 3,578 total – between October and December, the “11:59 PM TONIGHT” deadline notwithstanding.
Read the full article.