pre-convention, throughout the primaries and leading up to the
election, as well as PAC/issue marketing flooding the airwaves.
These dollars will extend past the news networks and begin to
impact Tier 1 properties (given their reach) and niche properties
(given the targeted viewership). Local advertising will be impacted by primaries and cause/issue related advertising.
Lyons: With hundreds of PACs and a tight primary run, this year
should set records in terms of political issue advertising. The
effect will be felt most at the local level, where inventory will
tighten dramatically for direct response marketers. On a national level, the effect will be there, but not nearly as severe, due
to a myriad of factors.
Yallen: While there will surely be more digital advertising this
year than ever before, both in terms of the numbers of ads and
the digital channels engaged by candidates, this increase won’t
have the same effect on digital inventory that political advertising has on TV availabilities. This is because digital inventory is
The real battle within the political search-advertising arena
will be impacted by fierce competition among campaigns for
strategic keywords. This will also be the case for programmatic
buying, as multiple campaigns battle for access to targeted consumer profiles that key on both committed voters and those
inclined to switch their votes.
Digital’s primary value is for engaging audiences younger
than 50. While this segment of the population makes up the
bulk of the potential electorate, in actuality it’s the over- 50
audience that represents the majority of adults who vote in
every election. And, this segment remains easier, and more cost-efficient, to reach and motivate via television advertising.
How has the expansion of TV/cable networks
and channels helped political advertisers in
Abusaleh: Segmentation and channel expansion has allowed
political advertisers to get more targeted in their messaging and
media profile. In 2008, Barack Obama used a very specific group
of stations to reach the 18-24 demo with his messaging about
financial aid for college and extension of the length kids could
stay on their parents’ insurance. Both ad campaigns helped him
gain more than 65 percent of that demographic. It’s still up in
the air as to what the key demo target groups will be, but once
decided, almost certainly they’ll use the targeted networks to get
their message across.
Garnett: The evolution of TV has created more and more
lower-cost opportunities to get your messages out. It also gives
candidates the opportunity to direct their TV advertising to
specialized audiences. However, from what I can see, much of
the buying is directed through traditional planning. So whether
a candidate takes full advantage of the opportunity depends on
their staff’s expertise at maneuvering the new media landscape.
Koeppel: Obviously, it creates more platforms for messaging, but
it also adds to media and audience fragmentation. The primary
benefits are the increase in available media inventory and the
ability to reach smaller, yet more targeted, audiences.
Lee: While the increase in networks and channels is causing
viewer fragmentation, the ability to more finely target prospects
has increased. This allows for customized messaging to be developed and implemented, along with daypart targeting, and tailoring the call-to-action (CTA) to speak to the responsiveness and
cross-device consumption based on the viewer. Additionally,
Direc TV/DISH joined forces to create D2 Media, an addressable
platform specifically and solely for political advertising — so
media partners are recognizing the needs of political advertisers
and impact of political advertising on their revenue streams.
Lyons: With hundreds of choices in national cable and hundreds
upon hundreds of broadcast stations to choose from, the availability of inventory is a benefit to this group of advertisers. In
addition, the finer targeting offered by this expansion helps political advertisers refine their message to specific target groups.
Merrill: An estimated 80 percent of Americans have mobile
devices, almost every one of which has online capabilities. Penetrating the smartphone market gives political advertisers the
ability to broadcast to a much larger market. Think about it: