Politcal Ad Campaigns Could Have a Record Breaking Year

If you haven’t seen any yet, prepare to be inundated with political ad campaigns this year, and this includes on radio. We are looking at a fierce competition and with that, all parties are already gearing up to go at it through the media.

According to AdImpact, candidates have already set aside $540.9 million for ad placements. Their first choice is usually tv, however, as those fill up, radio will be impacted. This amount is merely the money set aside for future placements. After all is said and done, AdImpact is predicting a record breaking $10.2 billion spent in ads. This is a 13% increase from the highest amount spent in 2019, which was $9.02 billion. The total isn’t just for the presidential ad campaigns…this is also Senate, state, any election going on this year. In fact, most of the budget is for other elections besides presidential. The Republican party has, yet, to reserve ad placements. However, across the board, the ad budget seems to have jumped quite a bit.

As of March 3rd, within the past two weeks AdImpact tracked $76.1 million in political ads. The most was spent in Washington, Chicago, and Indianapolis. According to the tracking firm, radio should get $116 million from the House and Senate alone, and another $84 million with the presidential ad campaign. Again, those numbers don’t include local campaigns.

This being said, there will be a lot of juggling with commercials on air. The logs may feel heavy with spots due to the record breaking political campaign year. For sales, this might be an opportunity to slightly raise spot prices during this season, since there will be a tighter schedule.

Be patient with your traffic directors. As a previous traffic director, this will be a nightmare for them. Not only do they have to juggle ad campaigns, somehow, there has to, also, be separation between alike businesses (Car dealers, phone providers….) and that in itself is frustrating. Add in the minimal spots to move things around and this is chaos.

On-air…you will get a crazy amount of calls whining about the political campaigns. With this amount already forecasted to be spent, I can imagine some of these spots will be a bit dicey. Have a conversation with the staff on how to address these and what should be said if a call comes in complaining about the message in the ad. We need to be ready to politely and respectfully address any issue that may come up during the campaigns.

With the projected ad forecast from AdImpact, the next year could be interesting. The main thing is to always stay prepared.

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