There are still plenty of unknowns about how this year’s midterm election will play out, but one thing is certain: 2022 will see one of the largest spends on TV and digital advertising ever recorded during a midterm year.
For campaigns and for the media strategists crafting ad strategy it means that getting the TV piece right could be the difference between winning and losing in down-ballot contests that will see lots of traffic on the airways.
“Political media buyers and consultants need to continue to look for ways to cut through the clutter, particularly inside the primary and general election windows where the majority of money is spent,” said Dan Sinagoga, vice president of political advertising at Effectv.
That heavy TV ad spend window, said Sinagoga, tends to account for as much as 65 percent of the entire year’s political ad dollars — from Labor Day to Election Day.
So what does a plan to maximize those dollars look like? Sinagoga said it’s about broadening reach beyond just primetime hours and news networks and employing a wider range of messages tailored to key audiences.
Take the off-year elections in New Jersey and Virginia, for example. They accounted for the largest spend Effectv ever measured for the two off-year gubernatorial contests. The expanded TV strategy saw planning reach across 10 – 20 networks in primaries, where it used to be only three to four. In the general election window, it’s now 20 – 40+ networks, which is a sizable increase on years past.
“The general feeling is [campaigns] have to go broad and deep. They have to use the long tail networks to ensure that no voter is left untouched,” Sinagoga said.
Effectv’s research found that for each network a political campaign added, they saw a four percent lift in reach. So expanding those buys matters, but doing it intelligently matters even more. As campaigns are following their audience by expanding reach on TV — adding networks and dayparts — Sinagoga said it’s also critical to integrate streaming and OTT into media plans.
“We found that advertisers who employ both streaming and TV were more successful, regardless of spend level or brand category,” said Sinagoga. “So again, it’s incredibly important to make sure if you want to reach [desired audiences], you have to have a diversified portfolio.”
Watch our full interview with Dan Sinagoga above for additional insights on ad measurement, integrating digital into the plan, and how to be ready for scarcity in inventory.
For more political insights from the media experts at Effectv, visit Effectv.com/insights