Media Buying During the Political Season

Advertising during a political season can be confusing for seasoned advertisers, let alone those who are relatively new to advertising. Business owners want to know how their advertising campaigns will be affected—and we’re here to help!

Have a look at this Q & A with Heidi Dater, Blue Onion’s Media Associate Media Director, for some insight into what it takes to adjust and maximize your advertising presence during an election year.

Q: How does the political season affect media buying? 

A: Depending on the type of advertiser, this season can greatly impact media buying. For example, we had a client whose leads were down over 30% during the political season 2 years ago. They were advertising at their usual levels, but people weren’t watching.  They were muting their TVs or changing the channel when political ads came on. This autumn, they opted to focus on digital marketing instead.

We have another client whose sales were down significantly. For that client, we offered strategies such as buying non-preemptible television options, like Closed Captioning sponsorships. We know those will run.  For this client, we are going dark on broadcast TV except for sponsorships and shifting their TV dollars to cable where there is more inventory.

Q: What do make-goods look like during the political season? Are there benefits to make-goods? 

A: It depends on where you are in the window. At the beginning of the political window, you generally get decent make-goods.  Midway through until the election, the make-goods typically aren’t enough points to cover what came out. For instance, I could lose a late news spot at a 5.0 rating and they give me two spots in Late Fringe that do a 2.0 each. Toward the end, they are literally shoving spots back in anywhere to see if they will stick.  When that happens, we tell the station to just credit our dollars.  At that point, the political saturation is at its worst. People are not watching and your spot tends to run in an unideal time period where your target audience may not even be tuned in.

Q: Are there benefits to spending during the political season?

A: For some clients, it’s important to keep their names out there.  If that’s not the case for you, we can try focusing your dollars on more productive outlets such as digital, cable, or outdoor.  As an agency, it’s important that we make decisions on a case-by-case basis. We have to take into account the specific needs of each client, their overall goals, and what would make sense for them.

A good media agency keeps two fingers on the pulse of the market at all times. That’s our job, and we’ll make sure your ads are seen by your target market, no matter the season! Contact us today to make the most of your advertising dollars – 303-597-9661.