Linear TV has long been the foundation of successful TV media political advertising campaigns. Yet, over the last several years, the TV landscape has exploded—so much so that the very definition of TV itself has changed. The TV medium now traverses all screens. Therein lies a powerful, growing opportunity for all political marketers.
Continuing the trend of recent cycles, over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV (CTV) are once again front and center on this season’s political media planning ticket—both regionally and nationally. According to research from Kantar, projected US political ad spend for the 2022 midterm elections will reach $7.8 billion, with $1.2 billion of that amount spent on OTT and CTV ads. If you’ve not embraced this opportunity, let 2022 be the season to do so.
Just as the TV landscape has evolved, so must the strategy and composition of political TV advertising campaigns in order to capture the opportunity that this maturing landscape represents. The first imperative for political marketers and their agencies is to embrace, at a conceptual level, the idea of a holistic multiscreen campaign.
The US television consumer is now watching whatever they want, any time of day, by any manner of screen, whether live or streamed. That’s no earth-shattering intel. This level of access and options has become the prevailing expectation for audiences. Thus, a multiscreen approach is vital to getting eyes and ears on your candidate or cause. In other words, in addition to linear TV, OTT, CTV, addressable TV, video-on-demand (VOD), and other digital elements should be considered as part of the ticket.
At the most fundamental level, this involves changing the way media is purchased, planned, delivered, and ultimately consumed—all working back from consumer intelligence. Fortunately, available technologies allow political marketers to align with this incredibly dynamic, presumptive consumption mode and benefit from it.
There’s a lot to plot and consider here. As a starting point, we might look at a basic question, which we will discuss in our upcoming eMarketer Tech-Talk Webinar: How does one plan a national or regional political campaign and make informed decisions about the best place to put your ad dollars, screen by screen?
Everything starts with the audience, and budget is always a consideration. For a positive outcome, especially when planning across multiple screens, wise, efficient planning and the careful selection of partners are key. As we will discuss in our webinar, front-end research and scoping the audience universe are instrumental to an effective (and cost-effective) go-forward plan. Your universe will be defined by understanding where, when, and how (including mode, time of day, and screen) your target audiences consume visual media content.
It’s important to be rigorous about how you define and tailor your universe. Without a doubt, quality data and partners with strong multiscreen capabilities are essential to ensuring that you are spending where the watching is happening and optimizing for the behavior you observe.
—Randi Langford, Vice President, Programming, Political, and Interconnect Sales, New York Interconnect (NYI)
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