Trump: Re-election Or Bust?

Trump: Re-election Or Bust?


Preface


The 2016 U.S. election was a very defining event in our world history, not only because of the result but the controversial information that came to light after the fact.

The advent of machine learning and data mining alongside social media’s mass adoption created a new status-quo.
An interconnected, brilliant, awe-inspiring new reality where everyone, regardless of their background, can find a voice and a platform through social media to express themselves to anyone who will listen.

Our history now includes a billionaire tech mogul testifying across the US congress [1], [2], a presidential campaign allegedly conspiring with foreign superpowers to manipulate the outcome of the democratic process [3], [4], and a dozen more examples coming to light about attempts to distort public opinion and sway elections across the globe to the highest bidder’s preferred outcome [5], [6], [7], [8].

The "truthfulness" of these allegations is inconsequential.
The noteworthy fact is that they happened in the first place!


Objective


If you’ve been following the news closely or watched some of the deep-dive documentaries on the impact of targeted advertising [9], [10], none of this is new information to you.

However, we want to demonstrate how we used Keyword Cupid to study the paid advertisements President Trump’s campaign is using on Facebook, Google, etc. and group them to derive themes and meaning in an unsupervised way.

These themes provide insight into how his campaign managers want their target audience to perceive him, the world, and his opponent, Joe Biden.

This study is apolitical.


Our approach uses an entirely unsupervised and unbiased ensemble of machine learning models to discover these advertisements’ underlying meaning and user intent.

Our goal is to understand the main topics that the United States’ current administration’s advertising team communicates with its audience.

In short, rather than using machine learning to influence others, we are using is to learn how it is used to control its audience.

WARNING:
This contains views of the author that express only his own beliefs and are in no way affiliated with other legal entities or individuals.

Short Intro To Keyword Cupid


Keyword Cupid is a platform that derives relationships between keywords or phrases based on the similarity of Google results for each search.

In other words, it provides insight into how Google perceives different queries.

We rely on Google because it is the most advanced search engine on the planet and has more than 4 billion users [11].

Using an ensemble of data mining tools, such as deep neural networks and unsupervised machine learning algorithms, Keyword Cupid can organize and cluster the entities we provide that have the highest commonality in the eyes of Google.

We do this to be completely impartial and unbiased without making any assumptions of the messaging or inserting our guesses as to why the puzzle fits a certain way.
Our job is to observe and interpret the results of what Google associates together as being similar and speculate as to why.
If you want to find more information on how KC works, look at our how-to guide.

Data

Why Analyze the Pay Per Click Ads?


Usually, Keyword Cupid is used to group keywords based on their search results.
However, the reason we are doing this analysis of images used in paid advertising channels such as Facebook is that:
  • Facebook Ads are the most engaging means of current Pay Per Click Ad platforms, as they tend to immerse with a user’s newsfeed from their friends and therefore tend to bypass the filter of our reptilian brain that tries to minimize the exposure to the unknown.
  • These campaigns are not cheap, so that we can expect many thought processes behind the underlying messaging.
  • Images are a powerful medium and the words paired with this visual can directly affect the subconscious level.
  • Plug Keyword Cupid? Hey, we still need to pay the bills, alright.
    In all seriousness, Keyword Cupid uses an ensemble of totally unbiased models that have no preconceived notion of what we think is relevant and rely entirely upon what the direction the articles in WWW points us to.


Cleaning The Data


For this study, we used Semrush’s database containing paid advertisement images for every website [12].
This database contained about 51K images used as creatives for paid advertisements for Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign.

Sample Keyword Cupid Mindmap
Semrush Display Ad Tracking

I have been a computer/data scientist for the majority of my adult life and although the mainstream media has presented the work of a data scientist to be very mystical and cool, here is my humble opinion:

Sample Keyword Cupid Mindmap
Data Science Life

80% or more of my time is spent on “data cleaning,” aggregation and plotting, outlier detection etc…

Also known as “data massaging”...

This phrase always made me sort of uncomfortable.

Massage your data
"Data Massaging"

Like who are you, “Mr. Data Guy,” and why am I massaging you?

Maybe buy me a drink first??

Squeezing The Ad’s “Juice”


We only focused on ads targeting people in the United States and narrowed our list down to the 10K most recent ads.

Ads We Scraped
Ads We Scraped


Using a proprietary OCR software we built in-house, we scraped the text from the images to analyze the language that emerges from these advertisements.

Platforms such as Facebook and Google are expensive and capture a comprehensive set of audiences.
Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume the messaging of an advertising image is very intentional and targeted.

To test our models’ capabilities, we first extract the most meaningful part of the ad campaign’s image.
For example, take these two ads:

Trump Sample Ad 1
Trump Sample Ad 1
Trump Sample Ad 2
Trump Sample Ad 2

We don’t want to capture the generic parts of the image, such as “Start Now,” “Take The Survey,” or “Paid For By Trump Make America Great Again Committee.”
They offer little to no information on the meaning of the ad.
Moreover, had we included these phrases, one could advocate that we “helped” Google understand that this text referred to surveys by the Trump campaign.

After applying our Optical Character Recognition algorithm, the images we end up looking something like this:

Ad 1 After OCR
Ad 1 After OCR
Ad 2 After OCR
Ad 2 After OCR

We removed all the generic and duplicate phrases and ended up with our final dataset that we are ready to feed to Keyword Cupid.

Uploading The Data


The phrases that we wish to cluster are not keywords and nobody is searching on Google for these terms.
Therefore, we are not interested in monthly search volume or ranking difficulty.

We simply want to understand what themes emerge from the underlying sentences.

That’s why we used the “Simple Keyword Report” from Keyword Cupid.
This tool allows you to enter your keywords in a comma-separated list.
We specified that we wanted to cluster based on Google’s mobile phone results in New York City.

Keyword Cupid Simple Report
Keyword Cupid Simple Report

Find out more information on how to run your own report.

After our report is complete, we are ready to analyze the clustering results.

Election Parent Cluster

The first cluster we will examine is related to “2020 election trump vs biden”.

The name of this cluster eludes that it contains advertisements related to the actual 2020 election.

As we inspect all of the underlying thematic entities, we see that the cluster's name is a good indicator of what it contains.
Keyword Cupid has done a great job of organizing all the different content connected with the upcoming election.

Trump Vs Biden Parent Cluster
Trump Vs Biden Parent Cluster

Let’s examine all the different topics that emerge in this cluster.

Attacking Biden

The first one focuses on attacking Joe Biden.
There are many emotionally heavy words used, such as “slipping,” “afraid,” “worried,” “can we trust,” “dangers,” “defeat.”

Attacks To Joe Biden
Attacks To Joe Biden


Interestingly, Keyword Cupid’s algorithm captures negative intent and groups only the emotionally charged keywords in one cluster.

Below we provide the respective images to the related phrases in this grouping.

3000000 AMERICANS THINK BIDEN IS SLIPPING 512982 RESPONSES NEEDED
3000000 AMERICANS THINK BIDEN IS SLIPPING 512982 RESPONSES NEEDED
Biden Campaign Is Afraid Of Our Movement
Biden Campaign Is Afraid Of Our Movement

Biden Is Worried
Biden Is Worried
can we trust joe biden to be there when we need him most
can we trust joe biden to be there when we need him most

Joe Biden is Dangerous for America
Joe Biden is Dangerous for America
less than 40 days until election day we must defeat joe biden
Less than 40 days until election day we must defeat joe biden

Feedback On Speeches

Moving forward, we examine the next cluster related to “help president trump with his convention speech.”

All the advertisements in this cluster center around President Trump’s speeches and conventions.

Our algorithm unraveled the intent of the president’s ad campaign, which is to connect with the public and gather feedback on their acceptance of different speeches Trump gave.

Acceptance Speech Feedback Cluster
Acceptance Speech Feedback Cluster

Related Ads:

Help President Trump With His Convention Speech
Help President Trump With His Convention Speech
President Trump wants to know what you thought of the 2020 RNC convention
President Trump wants to know what you thought of the 2020 RNC convention

RATE PRESIDENT TRUMP’S ACCEPTANCE ADDRESS
RATE PRESIDENT TRUMP’S ACCEPTANCE ADDRESS
tell president trump your thoughts on his acceptance speech
Tell president trump your thoughts on his acceptance speech

2020 Trump Versus Biden

The next cluster is related to “2020 election Trump Vs Biden”.

The ads’ intent in this cluster is different from the previous because it contains mostly phrases with the “vs” intent.

These phrases all centered around comparing and contrasting or opposition.

A parallel intent found in this cluster is a victory survey meant to act as a lead magnet for the campaign managers.

Trump Vs Biden Cluster
Trump Vs Biden Cluster

Below we can see the supporting ad images.

2020 election trump vs biden
2020 election trump vs biden
Finish Him Trump Vs Biden
Finish Him Trump Vs Biden

PRESIDENT TRUMP WANTS YOU TO TAKE THE OFFICIAL ELECTION VICTORY SURVEY
PRESIDENT TRUMP WANTS YOU TO TAKE THE OFFICIAL ELECTION VICTORY SURVEY

2020 Trump Versus Biden

The next cluster intent Keyword Cupid identified is geared towards the stance Joe Biden has against China.

The ads are meant to condemn Biden’s foreign policy and accuse him that he doesn’t have his country’s best interests at heart [13].

Biden Weak On China
Biden Weak On China

Below we can see the supporting ad images.

how-many-years-has-joe-biden-let-china-eat-our-lunch
How Many Years Has Joe Biden Let China Eat Our Lunch
Joe Biden is weak on china president trump is the leader we need
Joe Biden is weak on china president trump is the leader we need

We also identified two ads in the same parent cluster that weren’t grouped with the other phrases.
We believe this is because the theme that emerged wasn’t as straightforward as we wanted.

Nevertheless, they still have a parallel intent with the rest of the ads we examined above.

Other Keywords In the Cluster
Other Keywords In the Cluster

Below we can see the supporting ad images.

Help shape Trump's 2020 campaign
Help shape Trump's 2020 campaign
Trump VS Sleepy Joe (alt.)
Trump VS Sleepy Joe (alt.)

Trump VS Sleepy Joe
Trump VS Sleepy Joe

Stand Against Radical Movements & Protect Religion

The silo related to "Stand Against Radical Movements & Protect Religion" emerges with a completely different sentiment behind it than either of the previous clusters.

These ads demonstrate a sentiment of fear that incites standing against Antifa, which is tightly related to radical leftists.

As a parallel intent, another vertical that portrays President Trump protecting religious liberty from the left-wing mob assaulting it.

Protect Religious Liberty Cluster
Protect Religious Liberty Cluster

Below are the relevant ads

President Trump Is leading the effort to champion religious liberty and ensure equal treatment of all faiths
President Trump Is leading the effort to champion religious liberty and ensure equal treatment of all faiths
President trump is protecting religious liberty
President trump is protecting religious liberty

The Left Wing Mob Is Assaulting Religious Liberty
The Left Wing Mob Is Assaulting Religious Liberty
Less Than 40 Days Until Election Day
Less Than 40 Days Until Election Day

Stand with president trump against antifa
Stand with president trump against antifa
Reaffirmed His Strong Commitment To Putting America First At The 2020 GOP Convention
Reaffirmed His Strong Commitment To Putting America First At The 2020 GOP Convention

Become An Official Trump 2020 Presidential Founder
Become An Official Trump 2020 Presidential Founder

RADICAL Leftists HAVE LOST THEIR MINDS
RADICAL Leftists HAVE LOST THEIR MINDS

Trump’s Re-election Agenda


Next, we will examine a thematically related cluster that describes the matters President Trump wants to address in his second term as a future president.

The ad “DO YOU SUPPORT PRESIDENT TRUMPS PLANS TO MAINTAIN AND EXPAND AMERICAS UNRIVALED MILITARY STRENGTH” is grouped with the 2nd term keywords because of its high overlapping intent with the ad “trump's 2nd term agenda stop endless wars and bring our troops home.”

Trump's Re-election Agenda
Trump's Re-election Agenda

Below are all the promo campaigns related to an assortment of subjects Trump’s administration promises to tackle.

Do You Support President Trump's Plans To Maintain And Expand Unrivaled Military Stength
Do You Support President Trump's Plans To Maintain And Expand Unrivaled Military Stength
Trump's 2nd term agenda block illegal immigrants from becoming eligible for taxpayer-funded welfare health care and free college tuition
Trump's 2nd term agenda block illegal immigrants from becoming eligible for taxpayer-funded welfare health care and free college tuition

Create 10 Million New Jobs In 10 Months
Create 10 Million New Jobs In 10 Months
Trump's 2nd term agenda develop a vaccine by the end of 2020
Trump's 2nd term agenda develop a vaccine by the end of 2020

Trump's 2nd term agenda hold china fully accountable for allowing the virus to spread around the world
Trump's 2nd term agenda hold china fully accountable for allowing the virus to spread around the world
Trump's 2nd term agenda launch space force establish permanent manned presence on the moon and send the first manned mission to mars
Trump's 2nd term agenda launch space force establish permanent manned presence on the moon and send the first manned mission to mars

Trump's 2nd term agenda provide school choice to every child in America
Trump's 2nd term agenda provide school choice to every child in America
Trump's 2nd term agenda stop endless wars and bring our troops home
Trump's 2nd term agenda stop endless wars and bring our troops home

Trump's 2nd term agenda teach American exceptionalism
Trump's 2nd term agenda teach American exceptionalism
Trump's 2nd term agenda win the race to 5G and establish a national high-speed wireless internet network
Trump's 2nd term agenda win the race to 5G and establish a national high-speed wireless internet network

Questions, Questions


The next cluster that emerges is colored orange, which means that its underlying phrases are loosely related.

Trump Public Image Parent Cluster
Trump Public Image Parent Cluster


Nevertheless, we still wish to unravel the underlying structure.

It’s apparent that all the subsequent cluster themes that emerge are questions related to:
  • Donald Trump’s approval from the public
  • Trust in media and whether or not they are polarized
  • Socialism and its use

These questions are either backhanded innuendos or rhetorical questions.

In order to understand the intent of these questions, we must examine them closely.

Do You Approve Of Trump?

The first cluster has a very distinct theme as all the connected ads set out to poll the public about Trump’s approval rate.

Approve Of Trump Cluster
Approve Of Trump Cluster

Below are the related images from the ad campaigns.

DO YOU APPROVE OF PRESIDENT TRUMP TAKE THE SURVEY
Do You Approve Of President Trump Take The Survey
Official Trump Media Survey
Official Trump Media Survey

Do You Support President Trump's Plans To Maintain And Expand Unrivaled Military Stength
Do You Support President Trump's Plans To Maintain And Expand Unrivaled Military Stength
Take The Official State Of The Union Approval Poll
Take The Official State Of The Union Approval Poll

Do You Trust The Media?

The next subtopic in the questions cluster is about mainstream media.

In particular, there are several questions that the campaign managers pose to the public.

As demonstrated in the image below, most of these ads are not meant to poll but rather insinuate malpractice by media outlets towards President Trump.

Do You Trust The Media Cluster
Do You Trust The Media Cluster

Below are the supporting ads:

Do you believe the media
Do you believe the media
Do You Trust The Mainstream Media
Do You Trust The Mainstream Media

DO YOU TRUST THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA
DO YOU TRUST THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA
DO YOU TRUST THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA TO REPORT FAIRLY ON OUR PRESIDENT
DO YOU TRUST THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA TO REPORT FAIRLY ON OUR PRESIDENT
IS THE MEDIA FAIR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP
IS THE MEDIA FAIR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP

Do You Support Socialism?

The third and final cluster related with questions to the public has to do with socialism.

The Trump administration is obviously a conservative party and this cluster of ads is meant to amplify the chasm between the left and right political ideology.

Socialism Cluster
Socialism Cluster

Below are the supporting ads:

DO YOU SUPPORT SOCIALISM
DO YOU SUPPORT SOCIALISM
TAKE THE OFFICIAL SOCIALISM APPROVAL POLL
TAKE THE OFFICIAL SOCIALISM APPROVAL POLL

Do socialists speak for you
Do socialists speak for you?

Don’t Forget To Vote!


The next parent cluster has three children sub-clusters.

These entities are loosely related, as the parent cluster confidence is 66%.

Many of these ads ads prompt their audience to request an absentee ballot and vote remotely, due to the current pandemic.

Don't Forget To Vote Cluster
Don't Forget To Vote Cluster

Take The Exit Poll

The next cluster has a parallel intent to requesting an absentee ballot, which is taking an exit poll.

This theme is related to the elections’ outcome and is meant to gather information and statistics on the potential voters’ demographics.

Exit Poll Cluster
Exit Poll Cluster

Below are the related images from the ad campaigns.

SUPPORT PRESIDENT TRUMP TAKE THE SUPER TUESDAY EXIT POLL
SUPPORT PRESIDENT TRUMP TAKE THE SUPER TUESDAY EXIT POLL
Take The Official 2020 Super Tuesday Exit Poll
Take The Official 2020 Super Tuesday Exit Poll

Request Your Ballot

The next cluster has a parallel intent to requesting an absentee ballot, which is taking an exit poll.

This theme is related to the elections’ outcome and is meant to gather information and statistics on the potential voters’ demographics.

Request Ballot Cluster
Request Ballot Cluster

Below are the related images from the ad campaigns.

Request Your Absentee Ballot
Request Your Absentee Ballot
Vote Safely And Securely
Vote Safely And Securely

Vote Absentee Like President Trump

The last cluster in this topic is very thematically relevant to that of the previous, but the intent varies slightly.

In this grouping,there are promotional ads depicting the President using evocative languages, like “needs your vote,” “wants you to,” “vote like President Trump.”

Google has captured these nuances due to the users’ underlying behavior looking for answers to their queries.

Request Your Ballot Like Trump
Request Your Ballot Like Trump

Supporting ads:

President Trump Needs Your Vote
President Trump Needs Your Vote
President Trump Wants You To Request Your Ballot
President Trump Wants You To Request Your Ballot

Vote Absentee Like President Trump
Vote Absentee Like President Trump
President Trump Wants You To Request Your Ballot
President Trump Wants You To Request Your Ballot
President Trump Wants You To Request Your Ballot
President Trump Wants You To Request Your Ballot

It’s all about that Wall, ‘bout that Wall


The last cluster is centered around President Trump’s executive order to construct a 2,000 mile-long wall at the border of the US and Mexico.

This act is to prevent the entrance of illegal immigrants in the United States.
On the other hand, it contains an undertone of alienation and xenophobia, amplifying the tension between the two countries.

Keyword Cupid groups all the advertisements targeting people with similar ideologies into the thematic entity based on how Google perceives these queries.

Build The Wall Cluster
Build The Wall Cluster

These ads are almost always colored with patriotic flavors, such as the military salute and the American flag.

Supporting ads:

Build The Wall
Build The Wall

Demand Congress Build The Wall
Demand Congress Build The Wall

Help president Trump finish the wall
Help president Trump finish the wall

demand-the-wall
Demand The Wall

Secure the border now
Secure the border now
SHOW PRESIDENT TRUMP YOU SUPPORT BUILDING THE WALL
SHOW PRESIDENT TRUMP YOU SUPPORT BUILDING THE WALL

More Advertisement Themes


We will now focus on the clusters under the “Weak Themes” branch of the tree.

These clusters can still provide valuable insight.

The only difference is that they have less supporting paid ads and aren’t strongly connected with other clusters.
This is why they are "silo-ed" by themselves.

We have a lot to talk about, so let’s not waste any time!

The Bidens Are Corrupt


The first cluster groups together two ads that claim the democratic party’s candidate, Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter Biden, are corrupt [14], [15], [16].

Biden-Corruption-Cluster
Biden Corruption Cluster

Relevant Ads:

Demand A HUNTER BIDEN INVESTIGATION
Demand A HUNTER BIDEN INVESTIGATION
INVESTIGATE QUID PRO JO
INVESTIGATE QUID PRO JO

Actually, All The Democracts Are Corrupt


Adjacently to the previous cluster we see another one that is themed around ads that paint the democratic party as corrupt.

This cluster is different than the previous one as it targets the whole democratic party rather than just the Bidens.

Democrats Are Corrupt
Democrats Are Corrupt

Relevant Ads:

SAY NO TO CORRUPT DEMOCRATS
SAY NO TO CORRUPT DEMOCRATS
Would you like to solve the puzzle
Would you like to solve the puzzle
The democrats are corrupt and have accomplished nothing
The democrats are corrupt and have accomplished nothing

Silent Majority (Shhh)


These two ads reflect the notion that, although the loudest opinion is often assumed as the most popular view, those who hold a different opinion but are keeping their ideas to themselves are a larger portion of the population.

Member Of Silent Majority
Member Of Silent Majority

The relevant ads can be seen below:

I am the silent majority
I am the silent majority
Member of the silent majority
Member of the silent majority

To Impeach Or To Peach?


The next cluster contains all the ads around the Trump impeachment scandal [17], [18].

It also groups the resolution of this process, which found Trump not guilty.

Trump Impeachment Cluster
Trump Impeachment Cluster

The relevant ads can be seen below:

STAND WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP AGAINST The Impeachment Hoax!
STAND WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP AGAINST The Impeachment Hoax!
End The Impeachment Hoax
End The Impeachment Hoax

TRUMP IS ACQUITTED
TRUMP IS ACQUITTED

Do You Like Freedom?


The question “Do you support freedom?” is rhetorical.

The interesting thing is that it is grouped with the ads protecting the 1st amendment of the United States, which talks about freedom of speech [19].

This means that Google has already made the association and now “understands” what the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution is about.

Do You Support Freedom
Do You Support Freedom

The relevant ads can be seen below:

We Must Protect Our 1st Amendment
We Must Protect Our 1st Amendment
Do you support Freedom?
Do you support Freedom?

Nikki Haley Quotes


The ads falling under the following cluster attempt to boost the sense of patriotism.

They are both quotes from the former ambassador of the UN, Nikki Haley.
Interestingly, Google groups them because of similar articles that have been written on each subject, although we deliberately didn't specify Nikki Haley's name in the string.

Nevertheless, since the underlying meaning and tonality are the same, that is enough to create a strong association.

Patriotic Messaging Cluster
Patriotic Messaging Cluster

Related Ads:

Nikki Haley Quote 1
Nikki Haley Quote 1
Nikki Haley Quote 2
Nikki Haley Quote 2

Happy Bday Melania!


It’s always a great tactic to engage with the faces of a campaign.
This makes aligning and following a brand more relatable.

There is no better way to feel connected with the administration than wishing happy birthday to the First Lady.

After all, one typically wishes happy birthday to people in their close social circle.
Wishing someone a happy birthday invites an individual into their comfort zone and yields them susceptible to their messaging.

Melania Bday Cluster
Melania Bday Cluster

Supporting Ads:

BE ONE OF THE FIRST TO WISH THE First Lady HAPPY BIRTHDAY
BE ONE OF THE FIRST TO WISH THE First Lady HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Happy birthday to our first Lady
Happy birthday to our first Lady

Oh Mount Rushmore, What Did You Do Now?


The iconic Mount Rushmore depicts Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
The four presidents were chosen to represent the nation's birth, growth, development, and preservation, respectively [20].
Nevertheless, in 2020 it’s become the object of conflict between the Democratic and the Republican party.

Below are the ads related to Mount Rushmore that imply that the democrats consider it a symbol of white supremacy, thus rejecting an iconic American symbol.

Mount Rushmore Cluster
Mount Rushmore Cluster

Related ads:

BREAKING NEWS DEMOCRATS BELIEVE MOUNT RUSHMORE A SYMBOL OF WHITE SUPREMACY
BREAKING NEWS DEMOCRATS BELIEVE MOUNT RUSHMORE A SYMBOL OF WHITE SUPREMACY

Can You Believe The Democrats Said This
Can You Believe The Democrats Said This

To democrats mount rushmore=white supremacy
To democrats mount rushmore=white supremacy

It’s All Fake News!


This cluster connects to President Trump’s attacks towards the media about publishing “fake news” and preventing his press briefings from showing up online.

Fake News Cluster
Fake News Cluster

Paid Ads:

DEMAND PRESIDENT TRUMPS DAILY PRESS CONFERENCES GET AIRED
DEMAND PRESIDENT TRUMPS DAILY PRESS CONFERENCES GET AIRED
THE Fake News WANTS TO KEEP PRESIDENT TRUMP OFF OF THE AIR
THE Fake News WANTS TO KEEP PRESIDENT TRUMP OFF OF THE AIR

The Fake News Wants To Cancel Daily Press Briefings
The Fake News Wants To Cancel Daily Press Briefings

They Should All Resign


This cluster encapsulates the frustration of the republican party towards Senator Chuck Schumer [21] and Congressman Adam Schiff [22] by asking them to resign due to alleged scandals of corruption and manipulation.

Resign Cluster
Resign Cluster

Related Ad Creatives:

DEMAND ADAM Schiff RESIGN
DEMAND ADAM Schiff RESIGN

DEMAND ADAM Schiff RESIGN (alt.)
DEMAND ADAM Schiff RESIGN (alt.)

DEMAND Schumer RESIGN
DEMAND Schumer RESIGN

Stand Against The Fake News


The following cluster also concerns fake news but with a subtle difference.

The language is more evocative and asks the viewer to take a stance and “weigh-in” on the topic of fake news.

Phrases such as “let president trump know what you think,” “let the fake news know what real Americans think,” “don’t let the fake news defeat president Trump,” reveal the sentiment behind the 2020 Trump campaign.

Tell Media What You Think Cluster
Tell Media What You Think Cluster

Related Supporting Promo Ads:

Let the fake news know what real americans think
Let the "fake news" know what real americans think

Don't LET THE FAKE NEWS AND DEMOCRATS DEFEAT PRESIDENT TRUMP
Don't LET THE FAKE NEWS AND DEMOCRATS DEFEAT PRESIDENT TRUMP
president trump wants to hear from you
president trump wants to hear from you

You have been selected to stand against fake news media
You have been selected to stand against fake news media

Join The Roster Lineup


Keyword Cupid clustered together keywords about the 2020 GOP convention (a.k.a. Republican National Convention).

This cluster includes Ivanka Trump because she was meant to be part of the lineup.

The primary intent behind these phrases is the GOP convention, not the underlying people who are meant to appear.

GOP Convention Cluster
GOP Convention Cluster

Related Ads:

2020 convention lineup Ivanka Trump
2020 convention lineup Ivanka Trump

JOIN PRESIDENT TRUMP AT THE 2020 GOP CONVENTION
JOIN PRESIDENT TRUMP AT THE 2020 GOP CONVENTION

Do YOU Want To Deport Illegal Immigrants?


This thematic entity gears heavily towards illegal immigration in the United States.

In particular, it attempts to prompt viewers who are passionate about the subject to click on the ad, sign the petition so the campaign can collect their information and target them with further funnels down the line.

Keyword Cupid also groups the accusation that Joe Biden has not passed an immigration reform for 47 years, which is a strong signal for those passionate about this issue.

Illegal Immigrants Cluster
Illegal Immigrants Cluster

Related Ads:

How many years has Joe Biden not passed comprehensive immigration reform
How many years has Joe Biden not passed comprehensive immigration reform

PRESIDENT TRUMP WANTS YOU TO SIGN THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS PETITION
PRESIDENT TRUMP WANTS YOU TO SIGN THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS PETITION

Should We Deport Illegals?
Should We Deport Illegals?
sign president trump's illegal immigration petition to help keep america safe
sign president trump's illegal immigration petition to help keep america safe

Stop The Wars!


The following cluster identifies a topic that is very close to many American hearts.

America has taken part in countless wars in the last decade, which has stolen countless lives from their families and loved ones.

War/conflict, although engraved in the human DNA, hardly ever has a clear winner, but rather countless losses.
This is a very emotion-packed message that appeals to the very core of the numerous people that want to see their loved ones return home safely.

Whether or not stopping these wars is feasible and actionable is still meant to be seen...

Bring Troops Home Cluster
Bring Troops Home Cluster

Supporting ads:

Stop Endless Wars Bring Our Troops Home
Stop Endless Wars Bring Our Troops Home
president trump has stopped america from getting into endless wars
president trump has stopped america from getting into endless wars

Is Twitter Biased?


Twitter censorship is a different vertical that has a parallel but different intent than the attacks to “fake news media” outlets.

Since President Trump is very active on Twitter, there have been cases where the current administration feels that there was censorship of his tweets and the messaging he is trying to pass.

However, we shouldn’t forget that Twitter is its own platform, has its own ToC and privacy policies, and is responsible for the messages shared there, especially if an account has 87M followers!

Twitter Censorship Cluster
Twitter Censorship Cluster

Supporting ads:

DO YOU AGREE THAT TWITTER IS TARGETING PRESIDENT TRUMP
DO YOU AGREE THAT TWITTER IS TARGETING PRESIDENT TRUMP
Do You Believe Twitter PURPOSEFULLY SILENCES CONSERVATIVE VOICES
Do You Believe Twitter PURPOSEFULLY SILENCES CONSERVATIVE VOICES

NO MORE CONSERVATIVE CENSORSHIP!
NO MORE CONSERVATIVE CENSORSHIP!
TWITTER IS CENSORING REPUBLICANS
TWITTER IS CENSORING REPUBLICANS

When In Doubt, Add A Puppy


If you don’t like puppies, I don’t know what to do with you...

Even if you are not voting Republican though, the little guy wearing the Trump collar is bound to win you over.

Pet Colar Cluster
Pet Colar Cluster

Related Images:

GET THE OFFICIAL Trump-pence PET COLLAR
GET THE OFFICIAL Trump-pence PET COLLAR
MAN'S BEST FRIEND DESERVES THE BEST!
MAN'S BEST FRIEND DESERVES THE BEST!

Joe & Kamala


This cluster, related to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, shows an interesting property of our algorithm.

Although all the ads are related to Joe Biden and his vice president, the models separated them even more.

The two further segmentations make sense because the first one has to do with the intent before Biden announced his vice president, whereas the second group together the ads after the fact.

Joe Kamala Cluster
Joe Kamala Cluster

Related ads for cluster “Joe Biden Announces His VP”:

Joe biden announces his vice president
Joe biden announces his vice president
Joe Biden annouces his vice president
Joe Biden annouces his vice president

Related ads for cluster “Joe Biden Picked His VP”:

Is Kamala Running For President
Is Kamala Running For President
Joe Biden picked Kamala Harris For VP
Joe Biden picked Kamala Harris For VP

Happy Birthday D.J.T.


This cluster is similar to the one we saw before about “Wishing Happy Birthday To The First Lady”.

The interesting thing is that Keyword Cupid was able to understand that the “happy birthday” wasn’t the important part of the sentence and it shouldn’t dictate the clusters.

On the contrary, the person we wish Happy Birthday to, is the most important part of the context of this text.

Trump's Birtday Cluster
Trump's Birtday Cluster

Supporting Ads:

20% off SHOP PRESIDENT TRUMPS BIRTHDAY SALE
20% off SHOP PRESIDENT TRUMPS BIRTHDAY SALE
DON'T FORGET TO WISH PRESIDENT TRUMP A HAPPY BIRTHDAY
DON'T FORGET TO WISH PRESIDENT TRUMP A HAPPY BIRTHDAY

DON'T FORGET TO WISH PRESIDENT TRUMP A HAPPY BIRTHDAY
DON'T FORGET TO WISH PRESIDENT TRUMP A HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Wish President Trump Happy Belated Birthday
Wish President Trump Happy Belated Birthday

Shopaholic


People gotta shop ‘kay?

This cluster accurately grouped all the ads related to the official Trump store and the 25% sale advertisement.

Interestingly, Keyword Cupid didn’t misinterpret the 20% discount we saw in the previous cluster around Trump’s birthday sale, to the 25% sale of the campaign store.

Trump Store Cluster
Trump Store Cluster

Related Ad Images:

Huge Sale 25% off the entire official trump campaign store
Huge Sale 25% off the entire official trump campaign store
Shop The Official Trump Campaing Store
Shop The Official Trump Campaing Store

SHOP THE OFFICIAL SHOP TRUMP CAMPAIGN STORE NOW
SHOP THE OFFICIAL SHOP TRUMP CAMPAIGN STORE NOW
Shop The Trump Store
Shop The Trump Store

Trump Pence shop store
Trump Pence shop store

Pay Attention To Wisconsin...


There seem to be several ads that are very closely targeting Wisconsin and a few other States we will examine later on.

We couldn’t find ads for all 50 States but just for a few selected ones, which helps us think that there is something important to the administration’s ad campaign if they are targeting these States exclusively.

Wisconsin is one of the 6 “swing” States [23], so we can speculate that the administration has intel that it might be necessary for the 2020 elections.

Wisconsin Cluster
Wisconsin Cluster

Supporting Ads:

Breaking news wisconsin republicans need to register to vote
Breaking news wisconsin republicans need to register to vote
Attention Wisconsin Republican
Attention Wisconsin Republican

Wisconsin Register To Vote
Wisconsin Register To Vote

North Carolina, sure.. but Georgia too?


The following cluster seems to have similar intent to the previous one targeting Wisconsin voters.

This time most of the ads target North Carolina, which is another traditional “swing” State.

Nevertheless, Georgia is traditionally voting Republican since 1992 [24].

Targeting it might be because the Republican party sees negative movement and wants to reassure their dominance in that State’s electoral college.

North Carolina and Georgia are part of the same cluster because the "algorithm understood" that both sentences target voting intent in a particular State.

Still, there is not enough supporting content for Georgia to warrant a separate cluster.
Nevertheless, the Cluster Confidence of 66% alerts us for this discrepancy and the fact that there is a “loose” relationship between the cluster’s children.

North Carolina/Georgia Cluster
North Carolina/Georgia Cluster

Related Ad Creatives:

Breaking News North Carolina Republicans Need To Register To Vote
Breaking News North Carolina Republicans Need To Register To Vote
Attention georgia it's time to register to vote republican
Attention georgia it's time to register to vote republican

North Carolina register to vote
North Carolina register to vote

Millions Of Jobs


This cluster identifies the strong intent that the campaign directors want to accentuate, the strengthening of the American economy, and the creation of millions of job opportunities.

There is a clear message around returning manufacturing jobs to the US that are currently outsourced to China.

The specific numbers are also a significant part of the ad’s copy as they create a particular target in the viewers’ minds.

Job Opportunities Cluster
Job Opportunities Cluster

Related Ads:

Bring back 1 million manufacturing jobs from China
Bring back 1 million manufacturing jobs from China
do you support president trump's plan to create 1 million new small businesses
Do you support president trump's plan to create 1 million new small businesses

Thanks to president Trump over 10 million americans are back to work
Thanks to president Trump over 10 million americans are back to work

No More Unemployment


Although the ads in this cluster are very thematically related to the previous cluster, there is a subtle but distinct difference in the intent and the targeting.

If you look closely, these three advertisements target the benefits of Trump’s effective leadership to decrease unemployment.

Keywords like (“jobs added back,” “unemployment rate,” “1.4 million jobs added in August”) can help us understand the difference of the intent compared to the previous cluster.

A stone was also thrown at the Obama-Biden administration on the country’s unemployment rate under a democratic government.

Job/Unemployment Cluster
Job/Unemployment Cluster

Related Ads:

THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS THE LOWEST IN OVER HALF A CENTURY
THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS THE LOWEST IN OVER HALF A CENTURY
Obama-Biden economy never looked this good 1.4 million jobs added in August
Obama-Biden economy never looked this good 1.4 million jobs added in August

1.4 MILLION JOBS ADDED BACK IN AUGUST IS 2.5 TIMES LARGER THE BEST MONTH OF JOB GAINS DURING THE RECOVERY
1.4 MILLION JOBS ADDED BACK IN AUGUST IS 2.5 TIMES LARGER THE BEST MONTH OF JOB GAINS DURING THE RECOVERY

Target Different Social Groups


At first glance, Latinos are not the same as Catholics, so one wonders why are these two ads paired together.

For starters, Hispanic people are predominantly Christian and, more specifically, Roman Catholic [25].

Moreover, the underlying intent of targeting certain groups and ideologies with surveys meant to capture demographic information is similar in these two ads.

Minorities Survey Cluster
Minorities Survey Cluster

Related Ads:

TAKE THE CATHOLICS FOR TRUMP PRIORITIES SURVEY!
TAKE THE CATHOLICS FOR TRUMP PRIORITIES SURVEY!
Take the latinos FOR TRUMP PRIORITIES SURVEY
Take the latinos FOR TRUMP PRIORITIES SURVEY

TAKE THE CATHOLICS FOR TRUMP PRIORITIES SURVEY!
TAKE THE CATHOLICS FOR TRUMP PRIORITIES SURVEY!
Take the latinos FOR TRUMP PRIORITIES SURVEY
Take the latinos FOR TRUMP PRIORITIES SURVEY

Beware Of The Radical Leftists


This cluster groups all the advertisements that have a strong emotion of fear and characterize the Democratic party as a "radical left".

Additionally, these advertisements imply that Biden is a "puppet" of higher radical powers that control him behind the scenes.

They also claim democrats are threatening to take away the right of an American to bare arms.

Radical Leftists Cluster
Radical Leftists Cluster

Related Ads:

Joe Biden the radical lefts puppet
Joe Biden the radical lefts puppet
Joe Biden the radical lefts puppet
Joe Biden the radical lefts puppet

Joe Biden the radical lefts puppet
Joe Biden the radical lefts puppet
RADICAL DEMOCRATS WANT TO TAKE AWAY YOUR GUNS
RADICAL DEMOCRATS WANT TO TAKE AWAY YOUR GUNS

The extreme radical left has taken over Joe Biden
The extreme radical left has taken over Joe Biden

Do Your Part


This cluster has a lower confidence score of 66%, which indicates that the ads in this group are loosely related to each other.

The advertisements in this cluster are heavily geared towards the November election and its outcome.

They address the reader directly and ask them to "help shape the winning strategy", "do their part", "become an advisor" and "re-elect" the president for another term.

Win In November Cluster
Win In November Cluster

Related Ads:

BECOME A TRUMP 2020 Presidential Advisor
BECOME A TRUMP 2020 Presidential Advisor
Do your part to help president trump win in november
Do your part to help president trump win in november

HELP SHAPE OUR WINNING STRATEGY
HELP SHAPE OUR WINNING STRATEGY
When we re-elect President Trump this november the best is yet to come!
When we re-elect President Trump this november the best is yet to come!

"Low Blows"


When our models are not confident that phrases or keywords belong together with strong associations, it chooses to place them under the "Singles Cluster".

In this study, we see that almost all the keywords that belong to the "Singles Cluster" are insults and attacks to Joe Biden.

Most of them are not tangible reasons based on policies or beliefs but mock Joe’s personal attributes, such as "Joe Biden is old and out of it", "Hidin Biden", "hidin biden", "I am Joe Biden and I forgot this message".

Low Blows To Biden Cluster
Low Blows To Biden Cluster

Related Ads:

President Trump accepted Joe Rogan's offer for a 4th debate sleepy Joe has been silent
President Trump accepted Joe Rogan's offer for a 4th debate sleepy Joe has been silent
hidin' biden
Hidin' Biden

I am Joe Biden and i forgot this message
I am Joe Biden and i forgot this message
I am Joe Biden and I forgot this message
I am Joe Biden and I forgot this message

I am Joe Biden and I forgot this message
I am Joe Biden and I forgot this message
Joe Biden doesn't have the fortitude to be president
Joe Biden doesn't have the fortitude to be president

Joe Biden is old and out of it
Joe Biden is old and out of it
Joe Biden is old and out of it
Joe Biden is old and out of it

President Trump wants your input
President Trump wants your input
Less than 40 days until election day support jobs not mobs
Less than 40 days until election day support jobs not mobs

PRESIDENT TRUMP WANTS To Meet YOU
PRESIDENT TRUMP WANTS To Meet YOU

Final Remarks


Whew, that was a lot, wasn’t it?

Now we have a general idea of the messaging and the strategy behind the current administration’s advertisement.

This article’s objective is NOT to blame the advent of technology/social media for all that is wrong in the world…

The goal is to understand the tactics being used to manipulate and sway us systematically and unbiased.

To become free thinkers in today’s society, we must be aware of the strategies employed to influence our thoughts and reasoning.

What better way to do this than to use the same machine learning models used to manipulate us in the first place?

With the right tools, research, and critical thinking...

YOU are the safe keeper of democracy!

Till next time.

As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master - Abraham Lincoln


Bibliography
  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/10/us/politics/mark-zuckerberg-testimony.html
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/apr/11/mark-zuckerbergs-testimony-to-congress-the-key-moments
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_interference_in_the_2016_United_States_elections
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/news-event/russian-election-hacking
  5. https://qz.com/1239762/cambridge-analytica-scandal-all-the-countries-where-scl-elections-claims-to-have-worked/
  6. https://www.politico.eu/article/cambridge-analytica-leave-eu-ukip-brexit-facebook/
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_Analytica
  8. https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/former-cambridge-analytica-staff-launch-middle-east-focused-consultancy
  9. https://g.co/kgs/Tavfg9
  10. https://g.co/kgs/ykWG5p
  11. https://review42.com/google-statistics-and-facts
  12. https://www.semrush.com/kb/781-analyzing-display-ads
  13. https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/11/politics/trump-china-biden-learn-chinese/index.html
  14. https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/486996-pro-trump-group-releasing-new-quid-pro-quo-joe-ad-ahead-of-senate-vote
  15. https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/media/majority-media/johnson-grassley-release-report-on-conflicts-of-interest-investigation
  16. https://www.npr.org/2020/09/23/916021299/gop-report-hunter-bidens-ukraine-job-problematic-effect-on-policy-unclear
  17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_of_Donald_Trump
  18. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/18/us/politics/trump-impeached.html
  19. https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/United_States_of_America_1992
  20. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Rushmore
  21. https://www.newsweek.com/senator-chuck-schumer-faces-calls-resign-after-being-accused-threatening-supreme-court-judges-1490735
  22. https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-09-27/trump-adam-schiff-resign-impeachment-call
  23. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swing_state
  24. https://www.270towin.com/states/georgia
  25. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_among_Hispanic_and_Latino_Americans

Leo Soulas

Leo is a data scientist turned entrepreneur. He has a passion for data-driven methodologies and creating highly scalable machine learning tools.

Join The Discussion

Comments, concerns, suggestions? We welcome it all!
Join the discussion on our Facebook page.

this slowpoke moves