Interview: John Manoogian III, Co-founder and CTO of 140 Proof, Reveals How Political Campaigns Can Leverage Social Media

Social ad platform 140 Proof ( announced, earlier this month, a new solution for political campaigns that allows candidates to reach large groups of targeted voters within the social stream. Co-founder and CTO John Manoogian III gave us further insights into how political campaigns can best leverage the opportunities offered by social media.

Otilia Otlacan: 140 Proof has just launched a social ad solution for political campaigns – congratulations! What made you look into building this type of platform?

John Manoogian III: [roaring applause] Thank you very much! No, but seriously, we saw the huge potential of social early on for brand marketers and we noticed very high engagement rates based on our interest graph targeting, so it was logical to keep expanding this into a potentially billion-dollar business. As you know, with all the presidential candidates active on Twitter as well as the majority of Congress, 140 Proof’s social relevance targeting is just a natural fit for politicians looking to reach key voting segments at scale

Otilia Otlacan: What is the reach potential of the new service, are you considering extending beyond Facebook and Twitter?

John Manoogian III: 140 Proof reaches nearly 200 million US uniques via Twitter and Facebook, and we’re constantly expanding both our audience network and our capabilities. So far in 2012 we’ve added a number of new social apps to expand the network, and we’ve launched a new ad product offering that enables shareable video in our social ads… and we’re just getting started.

Otilia Otlacan: How important is user engagement for a political campaign through social media? Is engagement the ultimate goal or should the focus be on reach?

John Manoogian III: General get-out-the-vote campaigns should focus on reach, but candidates have deep targeting options when it comes to social advertising and engagement. Candidates can target specific demographics with social ads to open conversations on topics near and dear to that demographic.

Otilia Otlacan: Tell us a little about how budgets can be managed on the 140 Proof platform. What kind of campaign optimization can be performed?

John Manoogian III: We’re extremely flexible. We run everything from the standard one-month brand promotion to multiple flights of different creative at different budgets. Our sales leads and account reps work with every advertiser to create customized programs. Our ad operations team then ensures that budget, targeting, flighting, and creative are managed throughout the campaign, both through our automated learning network as well as by careful oversight.

Otilia Otlacan: There’s a lot of earned media on the table, with both Facebook and Twitter. Can the levels of earned media be monitored through the 140 Proof platform?

John Manoogian III: Yes, our ad operations team monitors and reports on earned media response both during and after the campaign, which is important because these campaigns can have a very large effect quickly. Paid offerings like 140 Proof serve to bring predictable performance and scale to social campaigns, and these paid campaigns act as “firestarters” for earned media in a measurble way.

Otilia Otlacan: The U.S. elections are of great interest at a global scale and the candidates’ messages are always scrutinized worldwide. Do you anticipate an interest from the candidates in reaching international audiences as well?

John Manoogian III: As with most US brand advertisers, the biggest emphasis will be on spending budget to reach US voters. Interest in international awareness usually increases AFTER the election, when the President wants to maximize buy-in for international programs. That said, while US is still the hugest market for social advertising, social is truly global and we have customers from across the globe.

Otilia Otlacan: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

John Manoogian III: To make the most of social, candidates need to look for ways to extend their reach beyond their existing followers – otherwise they’re just preaching to the choir (and usually a pretty small one at that). If candidates are using Twitter as their mouthpiece, they should really also be using 140 Proof social ads as their megaphone.

About 140 Proof

140 Proof is the leading social stream media platform, providing brand advertisers a simple and effective way to reach millions of consumers primed to discover and share. The company delivers sharable ads to users above their information feeds from Twitter, Facebook and other socially connected services. 140 Proof’s stream-analysis technologies match ads to the target audience persona groups based on public social cues like who they follow and keywords in their feeds. Social and viral effects deliver unique benefits to brand advertisers, while maximizing revenue for partners, enabling them to provide compelling stream-based applications and services to consumers on their web and mobile devices. The stream is everywhere — 140 Proof is headquartered in San Francisco and has sales offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit. For more information, please visit:

[cb type=”company”]140-proof[/cb]