10 Things Political Advertisers Should Know

Alex Johnson

Harman Sodhi

By Amobee’s Alex Johnson, Senior Account Executive, Political & Strategic Partnerships, and Harman Sodhi, VP, Political & Strategic Partnerships

  1. The shift from traditional cable + broadcast to digital media is here, and it’s here to stay. This was the first election in which digital media spend (display, video, social, CTV) eclipsed linear TV spend, marking a pivotal inflection point between the two channels.
  2. Connected TV in particular is the fastest growing, most effective incremental audience reach solution. It’s no surprise that with millions of Americans at home on their couches this past year, CTV viewership and its reach capabilities exploded in tandem.
  3. All candidates need to be prepared to play defense on fringe partisan issues. Whether it’s #QAnon on the right or #DefundThePolice on the left, campaigns should expect their opponents to malign their platforms with more radical ideologies, and plan their counter-messaging accordingly.
  4. Develop partnerships with independent digital marketers. As we’ve seen, advertising on traditional social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter may not be a bulletproof strategy through frequent bans on political advertising. An independent digital media partner that takes no position on supply is essential.
  5. The consumer privacy wars are here — test alternative targeting methods well before election time. With sweeping changes to consumer privacy currently being rolled out by the likes of Apple and Google, campaigns should work in the offseason to build and test fundraising and persuasion lists that can withstand the headwinds of change.
  6. Adopting Trumpism will give your candidate attention but lower audience sentiment towards your platform. Quite the double-edged sword, bold and brash messaging will certainly generate clicks, but it may inadvertently lower favorability for your candidate, as seen during the Presidential and GA runoff elections.
  7. Digital media activation is easier than ever — streamline your media team. The complex supply chain of digital media, involving buyers, strategists, pollsters, communications strategists, among others, is obsolete. Bring high value technology that provides value in-house, and ditch the rest.
  8. Polls are still inaccurate — utilize technology that lets you understand what voters actually think. If a voter polls likely to vote for Trump but is actually reading MSNBC and CNN every day, is that polling really accurate? Web-scraping and social-listening tools that understand this nuance are now the hottest product on the market.
  9. Knowledge of advanced creative testing and incremental reach solutions is still at a premium. Running creative-level or reach analytics aren’t costly, but still aren’t being harnessed to their full potential. Bringing on a savvy technologist will bring your reach and messaging capabilities to their full potential.
  10. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Much of political advertising is a follow-the-leader mentality, yet frequently, the first adopters of new technology are the most successful. Being the first to a solution will reap benefits for your campaign and candidate.

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