2022 Political Ad Planning is Underway

BY Kathy Crosett
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You probably feel that you’ve barely recovered, on all levels, from the political campaign spending and bipartisanship of last year. It’s hard to believe, but 2022 political ad planning is underway. Candidates, political parties and special interest groups are already plotting already their strategy. The next big election cycle promises to be contentious and expensive as Republicans try to win back what they lost in 2020.

2020 Results

Here’s how the political ad spending broke out for the 2020 election cycle, according to Kantar Media Group/​CMAG. A grand total of $6.1 billion “trackable campaign advertising” broke out as for TV and radio (in millions):

  • Broadcast TV $936
  • Digital video $420
  • Cable TV $315
  • Broadcast TV Hispanic $50
  • Radio-​FM $32
  • Satellite TV $10
  • Radio-​AM, States $9

Overall, campaign spending surged to nearly $14 billion. This volume of spending is impressive. Because, to a large extent, the money is “directed at the undecided voter.” It’s not always easy to determine who these people are or how big the market is. The number of undecided voters can shift as the actual voting period draws close. As we know, in many locales, we are no longer dealing with a single election day. The COVID-​19 pandemic helped to speed up the adoption of a growing trend: mail-​in voting. Ad buyers who have long been intently focused on the period leading up to the formal election day need to change their mindset. More ad spending should be done earlier in the cycle to influence voters. Analysts report that 70% of voters used mail-​in or another form of early voting in last fall's elections.

Multipurpose Ad Spending

Ad spending related to politics falls into several categories. Yes, parties and candidates want to sway the vote their way. However, the organizations behind the face of the candidates also advertise to raise money. According to AdImpact VP of Sales and Marketing, “about 60 percent of digital spend for the 2019–2020 cycle was direct response fundraising.” Without sufficient funds, candidates won't be visible in the marketplace.

If you’re selling Connected TV ad space, your political buyers will be interested in voter psychographic information. Age and location is always important, but buyers will want to know about voters’ hobbies. Ad buyers also need to think about which format to use for reaching specific audiences. As younger voters become politically active, ad buyers will need to consider the power of mobile phones and ways to effectively deliver messages to those devices.

2022 Political Ad Planning is Underway

You can help your political organizations start planning for the 2022 election cycle by showing them the kind of media formats that influence audiences such as independent voters and every election voters. And if your media buyers want stats on fiscal conservatives or social liberals, check out the AudienceSCAN profiles available on AdMall by SalesFuel. You can also use this information to help local organizations plan their ad strategies on issues impacting city, town and county residents.