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GOP Super PAC Puts Facebook Users in Custom Ads GOP Super PAC Puts Facebook Users in Custom Ads

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Tech / Facebook

GOP Super PAC Puts Facebook Users in Custom Ads

This Dec. 13, 2011 file photo, shows of worker inside Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.Facebook, the social network that changed "friend" from a noun to a verb, is expected to file as early as Wednesday to sell stock on the open market. Its debut is likely to be the most talked-about initial public offering since Google in 2004. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)((AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file))

October 17, 2012

The Ending Spending Action Fund, a super PAC supporting Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, is making a personalized pitch to Facebook users who supported President Obama in 2008 but are changing sides in 2012.

The Ad About You app sorts through a Facebook user's photo albums to create a custom montage of personal images that are displayed inside picture frames in a Web video that plays out while the narrator, a woman in her late 30s, talks in a tone of measured disappointment about what another four years of the Obama presidency might bring.

The programming behind the ad parses Facebook's social graph to select only pictures of a viewer's closest connections--a spouse, siblings, children, and parents. When a user shares the ad in his or her social network, each new user will get an opt-in message. If they give the app access to their photo albums, the process starts again with new users seeing their family and friends in their own customized ad.

"Each person who views the ad is the star of the ad," said Ending Spending Action Fund President Brian Baker. His group is spending about $10 million on a campaign targeting vote switchers, with "just shy of 10 percent," going to online media, Baker said.

The campaign includes a website that hosts videos of former Obama supporters, including one by former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis, who spoke at the Republican convention. Baker said that the site has generated about 500,000 visits and more than 1.5 million video views. Visitors have left 11,000 testimonials about their own plans to switch their vote to Romney.

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