Sarah Cox, a senior digital media planner at Democratic shop Gambit Strategies, helped develop Arena’s Digital Ads Playbook together with practitioners from ACRONYM as a way to assess different paid media options.
The idea was to also give those leading political ad efforts, not necessarily those doing the buying directly, an understanding of things like metrics they’d get back and what environments their ads would run in. That last point, in particular, could help inform creative development this cycle.
“In my view, to create actually impactful digital ads, it should be really informed by where those ads are running. And how people are interacting with the creative,” Cox told C&E. “If you know where your ads are running, you have more room to play around.”
For instance, advertisers need to be informed about whether, say, a voter will interact with the spot with the sound on or off. Moreover, she noted that some platforms, such as NBCUniversal’s Peacock, are known to political marketers but their offerings may have changed since they debuted.
“We need to know if there are unique creative opportunities that might” lead to more custom creative getting budgeted for, she added. “It’s difficult to keep up on what all is available. That’s one of the biggest challenges for advertisers right now: sniffing out what’s worth your dollars. There’s a lot of research that goes into the preparation before your budgets are even settled.
“If you have a mostly fleshed out media plan, that allows the creative folks to start from more of a clear understanding of how things will be consumed.”