Assoicated Press/Alex Brandon
- President Donald Trump‘s 2020 reelection campaign purchased the YouTube masthead to counter the Democratic primary debates, which is one of the most coveted digital ad spaces.
- The advertisement for Trump’s campaign is a takeover of the top of YouTube’s homepage and can cost several hundred thousand dollars.
- The Trump campaign has a significant financial advantage over the massive field of Democrats running for president in 2020, using their latest ad purchase as a show of force.
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President Donald Trump‘s 2020 reelection campaign purchased a takeover of the YouTube masthead ahead of the first round of Democratic primary debates on Wednesday, one of the most coveted spaces in online advertising.
The major advertisement is highly expensive, signaling the Trump campaign is looking to do everything they can to counter what is likely to be a heavy focus on the wide-open Democratic race.
The advertisement is right at the top of YouTube’s homepage, featuring Trump’s reelection announcement video, a link to his campaign’s official channel, as well as multiple prompts to text the campaign for official updates and frequent fundraising pitches.
That means if you pull up YouTube looking for music videos, sports highlights, or any other trends curated to your preferences, you will have the Trump campaign’s latest fundraising efforts before everything. That can also be big for viewers of the Democratic debates looking for highlights and video clips from the blockbuster night.
A spokesperson for the Trump campaign was not immediately available for comment.
Purchasing the YouTube masthead can be quite expensive, costing several hundred thousand dollars. That is money the Trump campaign — along with its joint fundraising efforts and the Republican National Committee — can afford but many Democratic candidates cannot.
The Trump campaign has also been dumping money into Facebook and other platforms to amplify its message and counter the Democratic challengers.
"There’s only 365 days in a year and a lot of advertisers have interest in the masthead and use it on more than one day," said Tara Walpert Levy, vice president of agency and brand solutions at Google, which YouTube is a part of. "We also had advertisers who were interested in taking advantage of the massive reach [of YouTube] but wanted to customize it a little bit more specifically to either a campaign length or audience segment."
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