Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Media Buying for Election 2016 (Part I)
Tags: Media Training, Social Media, Television, Advertising, Digital, Election Year 2016, Media Buying
Here we go again – it’s another presidential election year. But 2016 is turning out to be a year like no other. This year, we witnessed a large field of potential candidates and hard-fought primaries. One presidential candidate swept through the primaries, primarily through social media and “unearned” media, and came up the presumptive winner of the Republican nomination.
A year ago, Borrell Associates estimated that political advertising for national and local elections, would be $11.4 billion in 2016, a 20% jump from 2012. Just recently Borrell increased that estimate by 3% to a little over $12 billion dollars. The presidential election accounts for more than half the spending, the remainder to state and local elections. More than 60% will go to broadcast TV, and another 10% to cable. This year, for the first time, digital spending is expected to reach $1 billion dollars.
Almost half of this year’s political spending, will be on local media, in local markets, focusing on local political races. Local broadcast television—where the bulk of political budgets are spent and inventory is limited—can be tricky. Sales Managers have to walk a fine line between accommodating their political advertisers and retaining their loyal local advertisers. But in spite of the headaches the financial rewards, particularly in important swing states, can make for a banner year for local stations.
But no one knows quite how this election will go. Will “unearned” media continue to play a big role? Or will the big money—from candidates and PACs—take over the airways and ripple out into other media? Will it really be a big year for digital advertising?
Stay tuned; the next six months will be interesting.
“Political advertising spending in the United States in the 2016 election season, by medium”. Statista. 2016. http://www.statista.com/statistics/470711/presidential-election-season-ad-spend
“2016 U.S. Political Ad Spending Update – Executive Summary.” Borrell Associates. Industry Paper. March 2016.