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Bernie Buescher Pandora ad wins national award (despite not winning him the election)

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So what if Secretary of State Bernie Buescher didn't win re-election last November. In our book, he's still the coolest cat at the Capitol for being the only Colorado candidate (and one of the few in the country) to advertise on Pandora Internet radio, a move that just scored him a prestigious Reed award from Campaigns & Elections Politics magazine. And nope, that doesn't win him an election do-over.

In a gamble, the Buescher campaign, working with RBI Strategies & Research and Albatross Digital, decided to use the campaign money it had set aside for Facebook ads to instead advertise on Pandora, the popular streaming-music website where users listen to custom-made radio stations based on songs or artists they like. The ads, which were targeted to young professionals by zip codes within Colorado, apparently earned nearly 2 million impressions and increased campaign website traffic 500 fold.

No wonder the strategy won "Best Use of Social Networking Technology" in the Reed Awards, which recognize excellence in political campaign management, consulting and communication. Other Reed champs? "Iowa State Education: Proud to be Average" won best public-affairs advocacy automated phone call, "Hootie Dropped the Ball" scored toughest radio ad and everybody's favorite, "Senator AJ Wilhelmi is a Pig" took home best mailer for a Republican state legislative candidate. With ads like that, everybody's a winner.

Still, a successful Pandora campaign does not necessarily equal a successful election, since Buescher lost his race to Republican opponent Scott Gessler. What gives? Maybe all those folks targeted by the Pandora ads were too busy listening to their Iron and Wine stations to actually go vote.

More from our Media archive: "Arianna Huffington's sale of Huffington Post to AOL not expected to impact HuffPo Denver." Follow Joel Warner on Twitter @joelmwarner

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