Media Planning in an Election Year

Posted on September 26th, 2019 by Mary Caitlyn Polovich

It may or may not have escaped your mind that 2020 is a political year… but for the sake of your marketing campaigns, planning ahead with partners that know how to navigate the complexity of media spending during election years. During this time, the ads for political candidates are continuous and prominent — making it harder for your campaign to have a place and be noticed. With even more digital advertising options today compared to four years ago, we can expect to see a multitude of political ads across the continuously increasing available platforms. The 2020 election year is predicted to spend $6 billion on ads overall, with $1.6 billion devoted to digital video alone. 

When it comes to traditional media, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states the lowest unit costs must be given to all legally qualified candidates. This guarantees that candidates will get the lowest rate for a spot within any class of advertising time and particular daypart within the political window (45 days before a primary election and 60 days before a general election). As a result of this requirement, the lowest station rates are typically set higher than a non-political time period. Beyond that, the requirement often results in inventory being unavailable on TV and radio stations. 

With even more digital advertising options today compared to four years ago, we can expect to see a multitude of political ads across the continuously increasing available platforms. The 2020 election year is predicted to spend $6 billion on ads overall, with $1.6 billion devoted to digital video alone. Planning ahead and working with a team who can sift through the mess to bring your campaign the best success is key. 

 

Here are a few #TrueTeamTips to accelerate your media plans and secure placements for the upcoming election year.

 

“Broadcast TV and Radio are going to be crowded with political advertising. Depending on the product, recognize your creative needs to break through the excessive clutter if there is any chance of one’s message breaking through to the consumer. Don’t stray away from it, though. Consumers often become immune to the political messages and actually pay attention when a regular commercial airs. So there is no need to avoid the window completely, but stay open for any opportunities in Broadcast and Radio that may arise.” Suzanne Bayne, Account Planner

 

“Companies should make sure they are using different channels to advertise, as well as spending more on channels. I would have to say an election year is not the time to stick to the same advertising tactics or being safe with media spend.” — Abriana Green, Digital Media Strategist