Online Video Advertising to Play Key Role in Next Election Cycle

Politicians are always looking for a way to stand out from the crowd. In the last presidential election, candidates turned to social media with great success. For the upcoming year, pundits are expecting political organizations to pour money into online video ads.

Campaign ad spending is predicted to reach an all-​time high in 2012, about $5.6 billion. And TV has long had a lock on a significant percentage of the campaign media budgets, sometimes as much as 75%. But the new kid on the block, online video, as grabbing more attention and money. In 2011, online video spending has increased by more than 40% in many sectors. And in politics, both Michele Bachmann and Barack Obama have been using online video – primarily for the Get-​Out-​The-​Vote message. This strategy may prove fruitful because younger consumers, who typically have lower voting rates, may be swayed by these messages and go to the polls.

The use of in-​banner and pre-​roll video ads worked well in the midterm elections of 2010. One consulting firm, Targeted Victory, says candidates spent between 65–75% of their online budget on video. And Josh Koster, partner at Democratic digital consulting firm Chong and Koster, notes “If done right, an online video ad buy is similar to a cable buy — and you have a lot more information about your impressions than cable."

For now, political marketers see video ads as an extension of TV ads. This online format is particularly helpful when candidates want to reach consumers who don’t watch much TV. Currently, about 30% of the population does not watch live TV. As that number increases, it’s likely that online video will command a larger piece of the political media budgets.

[Sources: Kaye, Kate. The Rise of Political Video Advertising. Clickz​.com. 20 Oct. 2011. Web. 1 Nov. 2011; U.S. Political Media Spending. PQMedia​.com. 15 Dec. 2010. Web. 21 Oct. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.