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Mobile Insights with InMobi: Q&A with Kunal Nagpal on Political Advertising

Matt Kaplan
Content Strategist
7 min read
Posted on August 21, 2020

Welcome to another edition of Mobile Insights with InMobi! This is our new Q&A series, where we sit down with leading mobile marketing and in-app advertising experts to get their take on the current state of the world.     

Note: Want to listen to previous editions of Mobile Insights with InMobi? Head to our SoundCloud page for more.   

For this interview, I sat down again with Kunal Nagpal, GM of Publisher Platforms and InMobi Exchange, on August 12. In this conversation, we talked about the current state of political advertising, what political advertisers need to know about mobile and the approach InMobi is taking regarding political advertising, among other topics. Tune in now to hear the whole conversation! 

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Top Quotes from Kunal 

  • “They were spending a lot of money on physical events. And so now both [Democrats and Republicans] have sort of changed tracks. We're seeing candidates, as well as the the super PACs behind them, looking now back into the digital space for their spend. We've been seeing a spike come back in the last two weeks or so and we expect the spends to only go up from here.” 
  • “I think lot of the ads now are about fund raising. Interestingly, the fund raising, especially for the Democrat side, has been not just about the top of the ticket with Joe Biden. It's actually been going down the ticket into governor races and Senate races and the House of Representative races, and so their fundraising has been a lot more broad based, whereas on the Republican side, most of the fundraising things that we are seeing so far has been for the top of the ticket.” 
  • “A lot of the House races and the Senate races tend to be very local, both in their issues as well as in their outreach to the voters. And as you then have to go local, the physical events and the local print, the local TV, that takes precedence.” 
  • “I think it's experimental, you know, it's that medium that everybody wants to go after. But the [CTV] space is still not fully developed. There is a lot of fraud in that side on the publishing side, while there's not a whole lot of targeting available right now from the demand side. While everybody wants a piece of the [CTV] cake, it's quite hard to actually execute at scale.” 
  • “Many of those campaigns have been very wary of spending money on news websites, given the huge amount of negativity associated with anything by way of breaking news in these pandemic infected times.” 
  • “There are also some sort of gaming supply that see some ads. It's not, again, meant to be the perfect sort of environment for a political ad necessarily, but it's the perfect audience. And so a lot of the campaigns have been testing and running some ads in the gaming apps as well.” 
  • “I think the audience targeting has improved quite a bit in the last two years ago and as a few of the agencies have this broader data, they've been able to integrate that better with the general audience data.” 
  • “There are certain kinds of games in which, the right breaks in between sessions, etc. are a good place where a video ad from a campaign actually could work really well because the person playing that game is the perfect match for that campaign looking to target.” 
  • “Why do they need to only go to the walled gardens when they can get a bigger pool of quality data outside?” 
  • “As you would expect from any responsible company, we will not let any misleading ad or any misrepresentation come into our exchange and be able to target the users that rely on us for a good quality ad. We will be reviewing creatives, even from the lens of is this photo doctored? Is this message an outright lie? And if so we will flag them and cut them again. I think it's one of those things that you expect to receive from any responsible player. But obviously for us, it's at the core of our offering of a safe environment quality.” 
  • “This is a very sensitive topic. We are neutral. We will remain always neutral in the discourse on any issue. You would want us to be responsible about it, and so we will go the extra mile and make sure that there's no, misrepresentation, for example, that happened.” 

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Interested in running a political advertising campaign on InMobi ExchangeReach out today to schedule time to chat with one of our mobile experts. 

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About the Author/Interviewer      

Matthew Kaplan has over a decade of digital marketing experience, working to support the content goals of the world’s biggest B2B and B2C brands. He is a passionate app user and evangelist, working to support diverse marketing campaigns across devices. He also previously covered politics and government for the Daily News Tribune. 

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