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Data: Advertising Analytics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Joe Biden has poured money into digital advertising over the past two weeks in an attempt to capitalize on Trump's response to nationwide protests about police violence. The majority of the money has been spent on Facebook over Google.

Why it matters: The Trump campaign attributes much of its 2016 success to its digital advertising strategy on Facebook and until now, the Biden campaign has been outspent by the Trump campaign online, and especially on Facebook.

Details: Biden's spend increased by roughly 5 times his usual weekly expenditure on Facebook the week of May 31st, according to data provided to Axios from Advertising Analytics.

  • Before that, in the four weeks following the conclusion of the Democratic primary, Joe Biden has spent nearly an equal amount to the President on digital advertising, primarily on Google and Facebook.
  • That's notable given the fact that since mid-March, the Trump campaign has outspent the Biden campaign on digital $20.3 million to $13.4 million.

By the numbers: According to a Biden campaign official, the campaign has spent $1 million on Google since June 1st, and $5.5 million on Facebook. The advertising has helped to drive 1.2 million new sign ups on the campaign's email list.

  • Still, the Trump campaign has a head start, having spent millions on Facebook ads since the beginning of 2019.
  • As a result, the Trump campaign's operation typically runs 10 times the number of unique creatives, or ad variations, as the Biden campaign, per Advertising Analytics.

The big picture: Both campaigns have been spending nearly all of their money on direct response ads, which are ads that try to get you to donate or sign up to volunteer for something via a click.

  • Persuasion ads, or ads that try to get you to cast a ballot, typically begin to ramp up after conventions, and later in the general campaign.
  • So far, each candidate has put less than 1% of their budget to video persuasion ads, but in the last 2 weeks, the Trump campaign has begun run persuasion ads targeting Biden over comments he made about freezing government spending, including social security. He's also messaging on the “comeback economy."
  • Biden's ads often focus generally on Trump's leadership during crisis.

Go deeper: Money still pouring into election ads

Go deeper

Sep 16, 2020 - Podcasts

How 2020 changed advertising

Dozens of celebrities, including Kim Kardashian West, aren't posting to their Facebook or Instagram feeds Wednesday, as part of the "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign.

Axios Re:Cap digs into whether this temporary boycott matters, and how the broader advertising market has morphed in 2020.

Sep 15, 2020 - Technology

Kim Kardashian to freeze Facebook, Instagram accounts in #StopHateForProfit effort

Photo: Marc Piasecki/GC Images

Kim Kardashian West announced that she will join two dozen celebrities in temporarily freezing their Instagram and Facebook accounts on Wednesday because the platforms "continue to allow the spreading of hate, propaganda and misinformation — created by groups to sow division and split America apart."

Why it matters: The announcement from such a high-profile user is likely to be a PR disaster for Instagram and Facebook, as well as a boost to the #StopHateForProfit campaign. Kardashian West is the seventh-most followed account on Instagram with 188 million followers. She currently has 30 million followers on Facebook.

Biden on presidential mask mandate: "Our legal team thinks I can do that"

Biden waves as he leaves a hotel in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden told reporters in Delaware Wednesday he believes he would have the legal authority as president to issue a nationwide mandate to wear face masks to curb the spread of the coronavirus if needed.

Details: "Our legal team thinks I can do that, based upon the degree to which there's a crisis in those states, and how bad things are for the country," Biden said.