Frequently Asked Questions


About DemocraticAds.com


How does DemocraticAds.com target an audience online?
DemocraticAds.com matches offline voter file data against online internet cookie, device ID, and social media data to create a specific audience of people target it with digital advertisements. Use one of our built-in targeting segments or your own custom data to serve digital ads to the exact voters you need to win the election.
On which sites will my ads appear?
Our technology proactively targets actual voters with ads. The technology is similar to how Amazon will serve you ads for products you’ve looked at, however, our technology requires no initial action by the voter. This means we serve ads wherever your audience goes online — that could NYTimes.com, the local news site, or that particular voter’s favorite blog. We only use brand-safe websites, so that your ads aren’t on the types of websites you wouldn’t want your campaign associated with!

NGP VAN Integration


How do I import a custom list for targeting on DemocraticAds.com?
This process originates on the SmartVAN and Votebuilder platforms by NGP VAN. Once you have created a custom list on either of those platforms, and that list is comprised of at least 5,000 people, you will be able to select the “Advertising” button. This will guide you through the easy process of importing your custom lists onto DemocraticAds.com. You can view all of your custom audiences here.
I don’t see an advertising button – what do I do?
Contact the VAN administrator for your state. Also, feel free to reach out to [email protected], and we can see how we can help.
How small can my custom list be?
In order to use your custom list for advertising on DemocraticAds.com, your custom lists from SmartVAN or Votebuilder must consist of at least 5,000 people. This limit is a matter of legal and privacy compliance.
My “Advertising” button is greyed-out and I can’t click it – what do I do?
Your list is too small – this will happen if your custom list is comprised of fewer than 5,000 people.
Is there an additional cost for using custom lists?
Not at all! The rates that we use for custom lists are the very same that we use for our standard audience campaigns.

Registering


How do I create an account?
Just click the “Get Started” button on the homepage or go to https://www.democraticads.com/register. A user can register using their NGPVAN ActionID login, their Facebook credentials, or by providing the required information to us, including a name, email address and a phone number.
I’ve created an account but it says I need to be approved. Why?
We’re a proudly Democratic/progressive firm, and we realize that our technology is a powerful tool that can have critical effects on influencing voters and winning elections. Therefore, we need to make sure that DemocraticAds.com remains exclusively in good hands, and the approval process allows us to quickly vet all users to ensure that their mission align with ours.

Building A Campaign


I’m running a race, but my district isn’t an available geography? Can I still use DemocraticAds.com?
Yes! If you have Votebuilder or SmartVAN, try building a custom list of your voters and importing into our platform. If you don’t have those platforms, contact [email protected].
What are display ads?
Display ads are banner advertisements, served across mobile and desktop channels, that will appear on the top, on the side, and inline with content on the websites where your target audience browses. We recommend the cross-device display option, which allows us to target voters regardless of what device they’re using.
What are Facebook ads?
Facebook Newsfeed ads will appear in the Facebook timelines of your target voters. Voters can click, like, share, and comment on your ads. Facebook right column ads are smaller ads that appear on the right-hand side of a Facebook page.
What are video pre-roll ads?
A video pre-roll advertisement is a 15 or 30 second video that plays before any content that one might watch on an embedded video player — on CNN.com, ESPN.com or any other brand-safe site with video content. At DSPolitical, we only buy non-skippable, user-initiated video ad inventory - which just means that your ad will play before a video that the voter actively chose to view, and they will not be able to skip your advertisement.
What time of day will my campaign start/end?
Our ad campaigns run midnight to midnight. So if your flight dates are July 1st – July 5th, your ad campaign will begin on as soon as the clock strikes 12:01 AM (EST) on July 1st, and will end at 11:59PM on July 5th.
What is a “target universe”?
The target universe is made up of the types of people you want to serve ads to. For example, you may want to targeted Weak or Strong Democrats, with a Low, Medium or High Propensity to turn out to vote, who all also happen to be Registered Voters. In this case, you would use the GOTV target universe. We have three universes available on Democratic Ads: GOTV, Persuasion, and Likely Voters. Some amount of customization beyond these three universes is possible – email Support at [email protected] for any questions in that regard.
What is an impression?
An impression is served whenever an ad loads on the screen of someone in your target audience.
Why is the suggested budget really high? What does lowering the budget do to the effectiveness of the campaign?
The “full budget”, or suggested budget, is the cost for serving the absolute maximum number of impressions given the provided timeframe, geography, and target universe. Users can use a custom budget to fit their financial means, which will scale down the campaign accordingly and in real time. A larger budget means the targeted audience will be hit at a higher frequency with your advertisements than would be the case if you used a lower budget.
What is a landing page?
The landing page is the website you would like your audience to be taken to should they click on your advertisement.
I don’t have creatives – can you make them for me?
Yes! We can build advertisements for you using our template feature, which comes at an additional cost of $250, or you can work one-on-one with one of our designers to create an ad, which comes at an additional cost of $750. We do not provide video creative services.
Do I need ALL of these creative sizes or can I just submit one?
We need all of the noted creative sizes. The sizes are industry standard, and having all sizes allows us to place the ad on a wide range of different websites. Please refer to our spec sheet with more information on the required creative sizes.
I want to finish making my campaign later… can I save my progress?
Yes – but you don’t have to lift a finger! Your progress is automatically saved every time you click on a new page in DemocraticAds.com.
Can I target multiple geographies at once?
Not at this time – we plan to add this feature in the very near future. Until then, you can email [email protected] to get a customized campaign set up containing your multiple geographies.

After Campaign Launch


How do I monitor my campaign?
On the campaign summary page, there is a Reports tab that will show you the progress of your campaign. Basic reports are available 24 hours after the launch of the campaign and graphs are available 48 hours after the launch of the campaigns.
My campaign doesn’t seem to be performing well – what should I do?
We monitor each campaign closely to ensure there are no issues. However, if you have any concerns on a live campaign, you can contact Support at [email protected].

Support


Why won’t my creatives upload?
It’s important that all banners and videos meet the required file size and dimensional specifications. These are industry standards that must be adhered to in order to ensure that your ads can be uploaded correctly onto the sites where your audience will be. For more information, see our spec sheet here.
My payment isn’t going through – what should I do?
First, ensure that there isn’t a problem with your finance department or bank. Beyond that, contact Support at [email protected].
What is Facebook Advertiser Access and how do I grant it to DemocraticAds.com?

Facebook advertiser access is a page roles permissions feature that enables DemocraticAds.com to deliver your Facebook ads as if they were coming from your campaign’s Facebook Page.

Here’s how you do it:
  1. On a desktop computer, log into Facebook.com. This action cannot be completed from a mobile browser or the Facebook app.
  2. Go to your campaign’s Facebook page.
  3. In the top, right-hand corner of the webpage, select “Settings.”
  4. On the left-hand side, you will see a tab for “Page Roles.” Select it.
  5. A section of the webpage will appear, labeled as “Pending Agency Requests.” There will be a Pending Agency Request from DSPolitical.
  6. Select “Respond to Request.”
  7. Select “Give DSPolitical access to my page.”
  8. Select “Approve Request.”
  9. Select “Save.”
  10. You will be prompted to enter your password to confirm these changes.
  11. DemocraticAds.com will now be able to serve ads on your behalf!
I have a problem/question not solved/answered here, what do I do?
Email Support at [email protected]. We will get back to you as soon as humanly possible.