How behavioral science, Big Data analysis and ad targeting changes elections

Big Data analysis and ad targeting changes elections

Fantastic insight from this Vice article on Trumps US elections campaign and Cambridge Analytica’s use of psychoanalysis to steer personality based ad targeting.

My professional side finds it interesting to read how surprised they are that a amazingly well targeted and executed advertising campaign can create results. My human side is slightly worried about the implications for mankind if we are really so easily steered.

The quote that surprised me most “pretty much every message that Trump put out was data-driven”.

I guess a new standard has been set for politicians. One involving real-life advertising campaigns on Facebook that match products and marketing messages to consumers’ personality characteristics. Where candidates come up with messages they know will resonate with undecided voters in important states.

An earlier version of this story appeared in Das Magazin in December.