No, you’re not losing it: there really are more political ads than ever before. Indeed, spending on political advertisements is already breaking records. That is the conclusion of the Center for Responsive Politics (“CRP”), a political spending watchdog that tracks over 80,000 political advertisers and operates OpenSecrets.com. CRP recently shared its media spending projections for the 2020 election with MediaPost.com.
According to CRP’s estimate, total political advertisement spending during the 2020 election cycle will approach $11 billion – obliterating the record $6.5 billion spent in 2016. CRP estimates that the presidential election alone will involve a total advertising purchase of around $5.2 billion, $3.7 billion of which had already been spent by October 1.
Perhaps more interesting than the total ad buy for the election cycle is where the campaigns are spending their funds. For instance, former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign spent $94 million on TV ads (138,382 TV commercial airings) from Sept. 5 through Sept. 30. During the same period, President Trump's campaign budget totaled only $41 million (with 58,714 TV commercial airings). The tables turn when it comes to the online spend, however: between mid-April and September 30, the Biden campaign spent $101.8 million on Facebook/Google advertising, while the Trump campaign spent $135.2 million on the same media. Which approach is better in 2020? Tune in on November 3 to find out!
What does this mean for non-political advertisers? We are often asked if there is still ad space available, given the fact political groups have inundated the airwaves. The answer is a definitive “Yes!” DRTV campaigns generally focus on national and digital media, both spaces not commonly targeted by political ads. Thus, it is both possible and potentially advantageous to find current advertising opportunities. None of our clients have been restricted in the amounts they can spend, even as we approach election night. In fact, there may just be a nostalgic market for non-political advertising, if only for the diversion . . . Give us a call and we’ll help you explore the possibilities