By-Election Preview — Political Party Ad Tracker — December 11, 2017

Today is by-election day in four ridings across Canada. That means, as per Elections Canada rules, no online advertising in by-election ridings today!

But we’ve got you covered at eddt — here are some of the ads Canada’s big political parties were running up until this weekend!

Liberal Party of Canada

The Liberals are all in online in both South Surrey-White Rock and Scarborough-Agincourt. They are running multiple split-tests aimed at getting out the Liberal vote.

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The Liberals have been running different versions of this ad for weeks, with a variety of messages. Obviously the visual is effective. Let’s see if it helps get voters to the ballot box.

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Two weeks ago, the Conservatives were running Chinese ads in Scarborough-Agincourt and the Liberals weren’t. Last week, the Liberals were running Chinese ads there and the Conservatives weren’t. This week, both parties are running multiple Chinese ads!

The Chinese community in Scarborough-Agincourt is clearly a key voter group in the riding.

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The Liberals want to hear from you. How democratic!

Interesting tactic here—social media ads like these let political parties judge public sentiment in small, narrowly defined target populations.

We would love to know which audiences the Liberals are targeting. Is this a supporter identification tactic or are they trying to get a legitimate sense of where they stand from Canadians?

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It’s holiday season, and that means it’s time for end-of-quarter and end-of-year fundraising!

Many organizations – including political parties – run incredibly successful end-of-year fundraising campaigns targeting people looking to get tax credits before December 31.

The NDP started running fundraising ads last week, and it’s no surprise to see the Liberals running fundraising ads too.

One other interesting note — the Liberals are running multiple versions of this ad, asking different amounts. I wonder if they are targeting these ads by income, or if they are simply running a split test to see which ads are more effective?

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You can view all of the active Liberal Party of Canada ads here.

Conservative Party of Canada

Last week, we speculated that the Conservatives may have been refocusing their efforts on the South Surrey-White Rock by-election. This week, they added more ads for Scarborough-Agincourt — including one incredibly aggressive ad on safe-injection sites.

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The ad (which also ran in English) is clearly aimed at appealing to the more socially conservative voters in Scarborough-Agincourt. It may be effective — but it’s hard to square this type of ad with Andrew Scheer’s efforts to convince Canadians that this is a friendlier version of the Conservative Party.

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Outside of the by-elections, the Conservatives continue to try and introduce Andrew Scheer to Canadians.

The Conservatives—through Andrew Scheer’s Facebook page—are running several engagement ads with no calls-to-action. They are typically clips of Andrew Scheer speaking in Question Period — this week, focused on national security issues.

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The Conservatives also continue to run several effective looking issue-based ads targeting new signups.

You can view all of the active Conservative Party of Canada ads here.

New Democratic Party

The NDP have started running online ads with a little more consistency — good news for the party as they look to build towards the 2019 election. Most of their ads are issue-focused — good for building lists. But no sign of by-election advertising, so count on a bad night for the NDP.

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Interestingly, the NDP is running key issue ads on a completely different topic than they were last week.

Last week it was Paradise Papers, this week it’s pension theft.

We’re guessing the NDP are in a testing phase. They need to figure out which messages resonate best with their supporters, and build a narrative around them. Social ads like these are the best way to test such messages.

Another interesting note — all NDP ads were running in both English and French. Clearly the NDP isn’t intending to give up on their Quebec base.

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This ad—featured on Jagmeet Singh’s Facebook page—shows that the NDP is starting to get it. They have a new leader and a party that needs to grow fast.

The best way to do that?

Visually appealing ads with a compelling ask that urges supporters to give you their email. That’s exactly what we do for our clients, and what this ad does for Singh’s NDP.

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You can view all of the active NDP ads here.

*You can see Justin Trudeau's ads here. You can see Andrew Scheer’s ads here. You can see Jagmeet Singh’s ads here