Executive Summary: Political Ad Spend Virtual Conference

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Friday February 16, 2024

Executive Summary
By Lauren McCaffrey, The Cable & Broadcast Group

Cynopsis’ Political Ad Spending Conference 2024 on February 15, 2024, brought together key players in the CTV and advertising space to discuss AI initiatives, political ad spending and optimizing CTV amid the 2024 election cycle.

Below is a front-row recap of the insightful presentations, predictions, and key takeaways that made our Political Ad Spending Conference 2024 a winner.

Filtering Political Ads: Leveraging AI and human creative review to find incremental opportunities while protecting publisher brand and safety

Gabe Thomas, Vice President of Media Innovations and Technology, Basis Technologies of SafeExchange opened the afternoon explaining one of his core concerns, brand safety — especially with the anticipation of connected TV reaching record spending rates in 2024. Thomas explained that SafeExchange focuses on helping publishers and end users feel more comfortable and “remain safe in a landscape where you have a wide range of messaging and advertising.”

Noted moderator Noor Naseer, VP of Basis Technologies, “We know that they naturally have concerns about their audiences,” she said. “But, simultaneously want to take ads.”

Thomas presented an audit by AdCurate, looking at programmatic political ads for 60 days. The findings showed only 7.5% of the ads were correctly represented as political. This could be the result of incorrect category identification, intentional category misplacement with malicious intent, seeking a larger audience or self-policy of tagging, Thomas said. This misplacement can result in upsetting or alienating an audience, loss of revenue and more, he continued.

Shifting the focus from the overarching category to the actual content of the ad will help publishers more granularly decide what ad content is acceptable for their audience. Instead of having to eliminate an entire political category, Thomas explained, you can confidently weed out the political ads that don’t align with your audience. “We have a hybrid approach of humans and AI because neither are perfect,” Thomas said. “Together we have this total ability to find and classify ads in real time.”

Albert Yu, Chief Revenue Officer at Elemental TV, explained that with the use of AI tools to scan through ad creative and figure out the actual categorization through integrations, they can replace it, fill the gaps and correct it when it goes to publishers—activating the revenue they may be missing. “It’s very important to have tools like this to clean up the ad quality that comes through,” said Yu.

While Yu acknowledged there are always going to be rogues, “having an AI layer really reduces it. It’s never going to be 100%, but it’s going to get you very close to having an ‘ad safe’ environment,” he concluded.

Analyzing—and taking advantage of—the $10.2 Billion Forecast for the 2024 Election Cycle

There will be more political ads than ever in the 2024 Election cycle, Kyle Roberts, CEO of AdImpact, predicted. “From 2021 to 2023, we saw about $100 billion more in political ad spending. This spending includes linear broadcast, linear cable, radio, satellite, connected TV and digital,” he said, adding that in 2024, he anticipates there will be $10.2 billion spent on political ads alone, with broadcast leading in spending at $5.09 billion.

Not only will these prices jump in 2024, but connected TV will continue to see significant growth, predicted Roberts. “When we first started tracking it, it was at 1 billion in spending. Now we think it will be 1.3 billion. It could go as high as $1.5 to $1.7 billion.”

$17 million was spent on abortion ballot initiative in Ohio, with Democratic Party advertisers spending $41.18 million and Republican Party advertisers $28.32 million. For states that will include abortion rights on the ballot in 2024, “We could see an enormous concentration of political activity for advertising spending, particularly for key swing states,” Roberts said. If all states proposing make it on the ballot, this could easily be $600 million in additional funds in the 2024 election.

As the 2024 Election cycle approaches, AdImpact will continue to track the spending trajectory and update their predictions accordingly.

How to Develop a CTV Strategy to Reach Voters

Keith Norman, Vice President of Political Practice at LG Ad Solutions, began the final session of the afternoon with a presentation on a recent data survey conducted at LG Ad Solutions. Key findings included:

· More viewers are watching streaming than traditional linear TV, with 73% watching through subscription streaming. 65% of likely voters prefer streaming to linear TV. There is more control with streaming, explained Norman, allowing viewers to watch what they want, when they want. “Ensure your political advertising strategy involves streaming,” Norman advised.
· 88% of CTV users watch Streaming TV with others. Streaming voters pay more attention to content and ads when they’re co-viewing.
· CTV users are willing to change their mind after seeing an ad. 50% say they are open to reconsidering who they plan to vote for when presented with new information. 53% of viewers believe that political ads can actually help inform who the candidates are and what they stand for.
· Political ads drive actions like discussing issues with friends and family and performing additional research—even donating to campaigns. “Use dynamic ad creative like Enhanced Ads for connecting viewers to a candidate’s website to volunteer, join a list, or donate,” Norman counseled.

Explore exclusive opportunities in 2024 with Albert Nassour to elevate your brand’s impact and visibility in the community. Just announced, our Big TV Summit: Measurement, CTV and More for Agencies and Networks takes place live in NYC, September 18th. Speaking opportunities are limited so contact Albert now! Visit the website.

Cynopsis Team

Robbie Caploe
VP/Group Publisher
E: [email protected]

Lynn Leahey
Editorial Director
E: [email protected]

Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Albert Nassour
Executive Director of Sales
M: 917-545-3129
E: [email protected]

Stephanie Cronk
Senior Marketing Director
E: [email protected]


Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
Rob Hudgins

Cynopsis General Inquiries
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