Rubicon Project (NYSE: RUBI) a global technology company leading the automation of advertising, announced today the opening of an office in Washington, D.C. Theresa Mueller, previously of Rocket Fuel and a recognized leader in political and advocacy digital advertising, will spearhead the growth of the new office.
Digital advertising will be a major source of political ad spend in the 2016 elections, as campaigns increasingly realize the value of big data and analytics to precisely target voters and activists. According to Reuters estimates, U.S. digital political advertising could quadruple to nearly $1 billion in the 2016 election. And 85 percent of political agencies plan to use programmatic ads for their political media-buying efforts in 2015, according to a STRATA political survey last year.
Recently named by Quantcast as having the largest worldwide reach of any advertising platform with an audience of more than 650 million globally, Rubicon Project’s platform has been helping candidates and campaigns reach and engage key voters for years. In opening a D.C. office, Rubicon Project brings unmatched scale and transparency to the rapidly growing campaign frontier in ad tech. Rubicon Project’s relationships with the most respected publishers and application developers will ensure that campaign ads are delivered transparently in the most premium environments.
“2016 represents a watershed moment for digital advertising as campaigns and advocacy groups seek new and targeted ways to engage, persuade and ultimately turn out voters in the most competitive electoral landscape in recent history,” said Dallas Lawrence, Senior Vice President and Head of Communications for Rubicon Project, who will also serve as the company’s senior political advisor supporting campaign strategy and advocacy outreach. “Rubicon Project’s leading technology offers a key competitive advantage for campaigns seeking innovative and scalable targeting capabilities, proven big data insights and the largest audience reach of any independent advertising platform in the market today to support recruiting, fundraising, messaging and GOTV efforts throughout the primary and general election season.”
Rubicon Project’s first strategic move was to hire Theresa Mueller to head political sales in the DC market. Previously, Mueller was a key member of the advertising technology company Rocket Fuel’s D.C. operations. Between the sales side and buyer side, at APCO Worldwide and Ogilvy Washington, Mueller has worked with hundreds of political and advocacy clients to craft their digital advertising strategy, including work with national political candidates, ballot initiatives, pharmaceutical, financial, healthcare, and consumer goods companies as well as a commercial airliner and a major oil company.
“Rubicon Project’s growth into Washington’s political and advocacy arena is a significant development for buyers looking to benefit from both the latest digital advertising technology as well as a massive ability to reach and engage voters via the most premium media in the country,” said Erik A. Requidan, Vice President of Sales and Programmatic Strategy for Intermarkets, Inc. “The announcement that Theresa Mueller – a recognized leader in the political and advocacy digital advertising – will be leading Rubicon Project’s political and advocacy efforts is a significant win for the company. I have had the opportunity to work with Theresa over the past several years on both the buyer and seller side of the business and I have no doubt that combining her leadership with Rubicon Project’s capability to help campaigns reach, engage and persuade voters on any device at any time in any location will be a real game changer for 2016 and beyond.”
In addition to Mueller who will lead the expanding political effort, Dallas Lawrence will concurrently serve as the company’s senior political advisor supporting campaign strategy and advocacy outreach. Lawrence is currently the SVP and Head of Corporate Communications at Rubicon Project and brings nearly two decades of political campaign and advocacy experience to the new initiative. Prior to joining Rubicon Project, Lawrence was the chief global digital strategist for Burson-Marsteller in Washington, DC and spent more than a decade prior in the political arena running campaigns, leading communications for advocacy organizations, serving on Capitol Hill and directing communications efforts for the Executive Branch after joining President Bush’s communications team in 2003.
The analytics behind programmatic advertising are especially beneficial for political marketers, as they focus ad campaigns on specific, targeted geographic areas. As these campaigns are focused on potential voters who are likely to participate in an upcoming election – and likely to be persuadable, the value of programmatic advertising in this sector is magnified.