Facebook ad transparency is here — so what kind of ads are Canada's national political parties running?
Facebook ad transparency has just launched in Canada — that means now, you can see every single ad your competitors are running.
So what kind of ads are Canada's national political parties running? Let's take a look!
Liberal Party of Canada
The Liberal Party of Canada, led by Justin Trudeau, undoubtedly has a big edge on social media. Their leader, Justin Trudeau, has 5.4 million likes on Facebook - compared to 109,000 for Andrew Scheer, the leader of the Conservative Party, and 149,000 for Jagmeet Singh, the leader of the New Democratic Party.
They appear destined to maintain that edge, for the time being — they are running great looking ads, running a wide variety of split tests, and writing very compelling ad copy.
The Liberals are running a variety of ads to promote their by-election candidates, presumably targeted to those ridings. They are testing a variety of images and ad copy.
Their other ads are focused on key issues for the Party. They've done this in the exact way we've done for our clients in the past — compelling advertising copy, linking to a petition or landing page, designed to sign up new supporters.
This is a great way to grow your e-mail list — which can then be used to fundraise, sell memberships, and do everything else that good parties do to win.
You can view all of the active Liberal Party of Canada ads here.
Conservative Party of Canada
The Conservative Party of Canada is also running some smart ads — they are clearly putting an effort into recruiting new supporters as the Party seeks to rebuild before the next election under new leader Andrew Scheer. They have good looking ads, and they are running a few tests — but not nearly as many as the Liberals.
Unfortunately, their ads lack the specificity and compelling call-to-action that the Liberal ads do. Ads like this are great for extremely low-hanging fruit, but they don't give supporters any compelling reason to sign up.
The Conservative Party of Canada is also running ads to increase the 'Likes' on their Facebook page. The ad copy here is definitely better than in the previous example, but the 'Likes' objective is an interesting choice. While they are playing catch up to the Liberals in this respect, a 'Like' is worth far less than an e-mail address to a campaign.
The final Conservative example is the most interesting one — they are running Chinese language ads for the upcoming by-election, to promote their candidate in Scarborough-Agincourt. No other party is running ads in another language — not even French*!
You can view all of the active Conservative Party of Canada ads here.
New Democratic Party
As for the NDP, they've got the biggest problem of all — they aren't running any ads!
Neither their national party page or the page for new leader Jagmeet Singh are running ads. This is shocking for a third-place party that needs to grow fast and introduce their new leader to Canadians.
Perhaps their mediocre fundraising is their excuse — but in the political business, you need to spend money to make money. This is a catastrophic failure by the NDP campaign team and the longer they take to fix this, the farther behind they are going to fall.
Need help with your Facebook advertising campaign? We've managed massive advertising spends for clients like the Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, and the Conservative Party of Canada. Get in touch today!
*Update: It does appear that the Liberals are running ads in French, but only through the Justin Trudeau Facebook page, and not through their party page. You can see Justin Trudeau's ads here.