Politicians to Move Past Spot TV to Appeal to Voters

Political ads can account for over 50% of spot TV placements as an election cycle nears its end. Because of this focus on a single media format, prices rise, shortages exist and consumers quickly tire of the rhetoric streaming through their TVs. Some agencies are encouraging their political advertisers to consider alternate forms of media for the 2012 cycle.

Analysts at Harmelin point out that TV takes about 60% of total political ad spending. In 2012, one peak ad period will occur right before the primaries which generally take place from January to June on a state by state basis. The other peak will take place in the weeks before the general election which is slated for Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Because of high demand, media buyers will need to plan in advance, be prepared to pay more than usual, and will try to buy time during unique events such as the Olympics.

At the same time, political candidates and issues advertisers can benefit from considering other media. Digital, projected to reach 15% of ad spending in this cycle, is often used for fundraising. About 14% of the political advertising budget is spend on radio. And, politicians use radio  “in a more targeted approach” especially when buying time on news/​talk stations. These days, newspaper typically captures about 5% of the ad spend. Readers turn to the editorial pages for opinions and guidance on their options.

Analysts also say that using a viral marketing campaign or promoting a unique event is one sure way to attract attention. In order to stand out this year, politicians may turn to a number of different media formats to promote themselves and their events.

[Source: DiZio, Dan. Political Advertising & Spot TV in 2012. Harmelin​.com. 8 Nov. 2012. Web. 6 Dec. 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.