How To Plan During A Political Year

Radio Everywhere
June 26, 2012
Radio In Its Many, Many Forms
July 3, 2012

How To Plan During A Political Year

The 2012 presidential election could be one of the most expensive in history and will cover 11 governorships, 33 Senate seats, and all 435 seats in the House or Representatives. This election will translate into a period of profit for all advertising media. The closer a campaign gets to the political window, the higher rates will climb, so media buyers are under pressure to get air time booked as early as possible.

Political advertising is expected to reach $4.9 billion in 2012, according to Wells Fargo, a 17 percent increase from then-record spending in 2008. So far, presidential candidates have spent seven times the amount of money spent in 2008 on digital ads between primary races, national and state elections. Online ad spending has doubled as a percentage of campaign budgets over the same time period.

Social media is one of four basic parts of  Internet usage (search, social media, e-mail, and instant messaging). A unique aspect of social media is it is the number one online medium used while watching television. This creates a one on one opportunity for marketers to communicate with fans through social media, as a televised event is taking place, such as during a televised debate.

Analysts said local television, radio and billboard companies will see profits jump as voters decide on the presidency. Television advertising accounts for about 60 percent of all political spending. Political radio ad content typically does not enter the negative war zone that TV content does, nor do they allow as heavy and frequent exposure within a commercial pod. Radio is a far more ‘friendly’ air wave to hit during the political window for advertisers, especially if the controversial news/talk formats are avoided.

Clients will need to keep an open mind to other added value concepts other than free spots as well, since radio stations can not air bonus during the political window. If the spend is adequate stations will likely be open to added value digital components. The other thing to keep in mind is to offset added value during the political window and request bonus to air in a future campaign. Most radio stations will honor this type of request, as it makes it easier for them during a tight inventory time as well as nurturing future plans. The prospect of money is always something to look forward to!

Here at TRA, the media team definitely has the Fall political issue top of mind. We are grateful for clients coming to our table early to lay in campaigns now, as well as bringing this subject to mind for prospective customers. We are confident our established relationships and customized way of planning will carry us through this outstanding political era with grace and intelligently placed buys. Good luck to the candidates and remember those consumers playing on their iPads and smart phones during the debates!

Tami Freeman is the Media Director of The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the email or RSS links above.Visit our website