Trump campaign buys YouTube homepage space ahead of first presidential debate
The Trump campaign purchased significant ad space on YouTube’s homepage on Tuesday as the president heads into his first debate with former Vice President Joe Biden (D).
A large space on the platform’s homepage featured a promoted video titled “I See A Way Out,” in which a Black Trump supporter, Gary Lamb, expresses his belief in a “silent majority” that will carry Trump to an electoral victory.
In another video promoted on the YouTube front page, the Trump campaign accuses Biden of wanting to “surrender” to the coronavirus by shutting down the economy and allowing the U.S. to lose jobs to China.
The Trump campaign appears to have bought the YouTube masthead again (as they did during DNC/RNC) and is using it to promote a video tribute to Tim Pool. pic.twitter.com/RB1xcQ4YUa
— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) September 29, 2020
The ad buy mirrors the campaign’s strategy for the first Democratic primary debate earlier this year, where many heading to YouTube to watch the debate live were greeted by a large ad valued around $100,000 urging supporters at the time to text the campaign to indicate their support for the president.
Information about the total cost of the ad buy was not immediately available. The Biden campaign also did not immediately answer emailed questions about its own ad strategy ahead of the debate.
“Across the entire day of the first debate, the Trump campaign has secured the most valuable piece of real estate on the Web,” said Tim Murtaugh, a Trump campaign spokesperson.
“For such a big event in the most important election of our lifetime, this YouTube masthead takeover demonstrates the stark contrast between President Trump’s record of achievement, particularly for the Black community, versus Joe Biden’s record of empty rhetoric and failure throughout nearly half a century in office,” he added.
The president’s former campaign manager indicated in April that Trump was prepared to spend at least $1 billion on his reelection efforts.
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