CDA and FvD at the front of online advertising, who are they reaching?

With half a week left until the election, youre most likely to encounter the CDA or Forum for Democracy in your timeline with a paid ad.

The CDA has spent more than 400,000 euros over the last 30 days; the number 2, D66, just over half. And thats only on Facebook and Google, apart from advertisements elsewhere on the internet and, for example, on bus booths and in newspapers.

At the same time, the Forum for Democracy could reach more people than the CDA, although that party spent much less: only 53,000 euros.

How often exactly the ads of both parties are viewed is not to say: Facebook does not release exact figures, only estimates. CDA ads were seen between 7 and 15 million times; FVD ads between 16 and 19 million times.

7000 ads

The CDA is also the party that places the vast majority of advertisements: as many as 7000, which is much more than the Forum for Democracy, which, with only ninety different ads, reaches about the same number or even more people.

As a result, Forum for Democracy seems to target ads less precisely than the CDA, and throw out a much wider towed net.

Often the CDA is the same advertisement, which is placed several or even dozens of times, each time targeting different audiences. Forum for Democracy places ads that are shown to a large group at once.

The CDA ads – often with CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra or with MP Pieter Omtzigt in the picture – are more often shown to women. Here, too, it is not possible to establish with certainty how much the difference is, but that more women are being achieved is certain.

Forum for Democracy may reach a little more men, but that is also uncertain. The PvdA clearly reaches more women.

Facebook gives advertisers, including political parties, the ability to determine exactly who will see ads. They can take into account location, gender and age, as well as interests.

Although Facebook does not want to give access to how political parties target their ads to certain audiences, parties seem to be enthusiastic about these opportunities.

For example, older Internet users see an advertisement in which CDAer Omtzigt is placed as a pension guard dog. A more general message about pension building is also shown to younger users.

A similar tactic applies Forum for Democracy. A message to young people that they are not affected by corona – but by the disproportionate measures – is mainly seen by young people, as well as a call to vote for the party with FVD youth leader and candidate member Freek Jansen.

Facebook also offers advertisers the opportunity to show ads in a particular region. Some parties like to use this in view: for example, the CDA places advertisements that have been seen a lot in Noord-Brabant or Limburg.

But whether that was the intention is not to be said for sure. โ€œThe Facebook algorithm can also decide for you that an ad should be shown in a particular region, because it will be the most effective,โ€ says Tom Dobber, who is researching political advertising at the University of Amsterdam.

How much sense online ads actually have is yet to be seen. The VVD spends relatively little money on it: the counter now stands at more than 41.000 euros. But that party has been by far the biggest in the polls throughout the campaign.