Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump raised $9 million off the final debate with Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton Wednesday from a pair of Facebook videos.
The campaign ran two live-streams on Trump’s Facebook staged as regular news programming that featured interviews with some of his top surrogates. When visitors tuned in to the live videos they were asked to donate $10 or more ahead of a midnight deadline, and more than 150,000 responded with donations, reports Politico.
The videos generated 8.8 million views and attracted 24 million people, the campaign said, running 30 minutes before the debate and about 90 minutes after the debate. They allowed the Trump campaign to give off the feel of a newscast in what was actually a tightly controlled environment. Interviewees included retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and Rudy Giuliani.
The campaign referred to the action on the entire Facebook feed, which garnered 8 million likes, shares and comments as “one of the largest debate discussions on the internet.”
The Clinton campaign has similarly leveraged Facebook live, using a live-stream of the Democratic National Convention to give viewers a place to watch what looked like a newscast that would be free of actual journalists.
“Part of what you want to do is shape the conversation that’s happening, and you want to give tools to your supporters to spread the message,” a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama said ahead of the convention. Dan Pfeiffer uses similar communications tactics on behalf of the White House. “You want to expose it to as many people as possible, either in the moment or afterward, with context that you provide.”
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