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Kirk Dillard announces digital online strategy, ads targeting GOP primary voters

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Republican candidate for Illinois Governor Kirk Dillard today launched a new digital strategy with a series of online ads that will target key voting groups ahead of the March Illinois Primary. The first ads being placed on social media sites and search engines will focus on opponent Bruce Rauner.

Rich Miller's Capitol Fax posted the three videos released by the Dillard campaign. Miller said, "Sen. Kirk Dillard’s campaign has no money for TV ads, so they’re buying social media ads."

Dillard has a Facebook page presence under the name "Dillard Tracy" with nearly 20,000 "likes.” Dillard also has a twitter following under @KirkDillard.

The first video posted by the campaign is titled "Daddy Warbucks - Bruce Rauner," a reference to the wealthy man in the "Little Orphan Annie" story, comparing Daddy Warbucks to Bruce Rauner ads a man without empathy. The copy for the ad is as follows:

Bruce Rauner is one. Wealthy. Guy. He made $53 million last year, and owns part of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Bulls. What's more, Rauner owns 9 luxury penthouses and mansions around the country. That's even more than Mitt Romney.

Is there any way Bruce Rauner can really understand what it's like to struggle to make ends meet? Probably not.

Can Rauner understand people working harder and harder, but falling farther and farther behind? Probably not.

Can someone like Rauner be counted on to help middle-class families? Probably not.

Bruce Rauner. Wrong for Illinois.

The hope is that these videos will be shared throughout the social networks at a minimal cost. The risk of this type of strategy is that it could fall on deaf ears.

However, since Dillard has few other options, this may be his only shot of overcoming Rauner's huge lead.

Which brings us to the three videos, which specifically target, well, Bruce Rauner.

He posted two other videos. One is titled, "Don't Forget - Bruce Rauner." The other video is titled, "Bad Credit - Bruce Rauner."

"We’re heavily invested in a digital strategy that will drill down to the precise voting demographic that we need to reach," Dillard-Tracy Campaign Manager Glenn Hodas said. "In the case of these first few ads, people will see a much different picture of Bruce Rauner than the heavily sanitized version he’s presenting of himself."

The ads will be placed on Facebook and Twitter as well as YouTube, Google and other display ad networks. Using demographic data points of likely primary voters that the campaign has compiled, these ads will be targeted at the individual level.

“This is an extremely effective way to reach voters who are actually looking for information about the campaign,” Hodas said. “We believe these ads along with our targeted email strategy will help get our message across in this very competitive Primary.”

Among some of the other messages conveyed in the new ads is one that says Rauner is spending millions of dollars on TV ads to get Republican voters to forget: "…Forget the small fortune he gave Mike Madigan to defeat Republicans…forget he bent the rules to get his kid into an exclusive school…forget his ties to a convicted influence peddler…forget he helped Rahm Emanuel…and he’s betting you’ll forget when he ducks tough questions."

The video concludes with, "Republican voters, don’t forget the real Bruce Rauner."

"We know we can’t match Rauner on television," Hodas said. "But, we know that with this efficient digital strategy, we don’t have to. We expect these ads and the videos to reach tens of thousands of likely Primary voters across Illinois."

When it is your only good option, it will have to be that way.

The unraveling of Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford has brought Dillard a little more attention, as the field tries to catch up with Bruce Rauner.

Dillard commented on Wednesday, according to the Daily Herald, that while anonymity can be important while an accuser's allegations are investigated, it makes this case "more bizarre." The treasurer's office employee's attorney has talked on the radio about some of the allegations while the accuser has gone unnamed.

"Normally we respect anonymity, but in this case the accuser is talking to media and apparently wants to be anonymous with a small 'a,'" Dillard said.

***

Sources:

Rich Miller's Capitol Fax

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Send John Presta an email and your story ideas or suggestions, johnpresta@att.net.

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