Political Campaigns Means Media Mayhem In 2020. Here’s How to Avoid It.

Political ad spend is increasing. That’s clear to anyone with a television or internet connection. But how much is it increasing this year? And how will that affect your ability to place advertising in the near future? Strategic America’s media team is here to answer these questions.

If the flood of articles predicting record ad spend is to be trusted, we can expect quite a few placements to hit the schedule soon. Many ads are already on the air, displaying online and waiting in the pages of your local paper. And it’s only going to get more competitive. An article from The Wall Street Journal predicts political spending will exceed $10 billion next year. That chunk of change represents an impressive amount of coveted ad placements.  

Most of that money is spent on the local level. According to MediaPost, projected spending for local political advertising is more than $6.5 billion. And more than half of that will be spent on local television and cable or satellite channels.

Worried about how your advertisements will be able to compete this political season? Between the sheer volume of political messages and consumer tune-out, it’s easy to lose sleep over it.

Because our agency is in the heart of Iowa, we’re well aware of the impact of political advertising. Our team of media pros knows what it’s like to keep client messages visible in a sea of political advertising. Our caucuses are the first in the nation—and they’re only about six months away. Our media team has been busy preparing, especially since local media outlets are already seeing significant candidate and issue advertising. A recent Des Moines Register article indicates millions have already been spent in Iowa by presidential hopefuls. Since we place media in all U.S. TV markets, we are also monitoring activity for those advertisers.

So what can they—and you—do to prepare for what feels like the media buy apocalypse? Here’s some of their best advice:

  • Make a plan now. All media buys require planning and preparation. That’s especially true when you’re dealing with a significant amount of competition for the space. Local political advertising activity should be a top consideration during this time. This applies to more than just big markets and the presidential race. Your city’s mayoral race may also eat up local avails.
  • Adjust your media strategy. That doesn’t mean you should spend less or avoid advertising during peak political windows. It likely means a significant shift in your typical media mix and keeping a close eye on how your plans are performing. Adjust when needed. You’ll find solutions that might push your comfort level, but they’ll keep sales coming in.

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