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Data You Can Believe In

By JIM RUTENBERG
Published June 20, 2013

The precision voter targeting that put President Obama over the top in 2012 could revolutionize advertising.

Earlier this year, senior members of President Barack Obama's campaign team took a trip to Las Vegas. Nevada holds a special place in Obama-wonk lore as the place where his monthslong strategy of defeating Hillary Clinton by slowly and surely amassing delegates emerged. But the operatives were not there in March for any political reason. They were there to make money — specifically to land what they hoped would be the first corporate client for their new advertising business, Analytics Media Group (A.M.G.). Its bland name obscures its relatively grand promise: to deliver to commercial advertisers some of the Obama campaign's secret, technologically advanced formulas for reaching voters.

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The New York Times Magazine Cover featuring AMG Gaurav Shirole, Chris Frommann, Chauncey McLean, Will St. Clair
How the precision targeting of "persuadable" voters that put Obama over the top in 2012 could revolutionize the advertising industry.

(Illustration by Matt Dorfman. Original photograph by Jewel Samad/Agence France-Presse/Getty Image)
Gaurav Shirole, Chris Frommann, Chauncey McLean, Will St. Clair
Left to right: Gaurav Shirole, Chris Frommann, Chauncey McLean, Will St. Clair.

(Andrew Hetherington for The New York Times)