Biden and Trump spend 80% of advertising money targeting multiscreen audience
In terms of TV ad spend alone, the Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump fight shrinks to half a dozen battlefield states as the digital-TV spending gap narrows rapidly as political campaigns are escalating to reach a multi-screen, multi-generational audience during an ongoing pandemic.
Biden and Trump have already spent $ 500 million on Facebook and Google ads alone, and about $ 1 billion on TV ads, according to a study by the Wesleyan Media Project that tracks political ads during election season.
National Public Radio (NPR) analysis of the Biden and Trump campaign cash flow shows that more than $ 700 million was spent on TV ad bookings in 14 states and more than $ 8 out of $ 10 spent goes to advertising purchases in Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona.
The same report states that the Biden-Harris campaign spends nearly 90% of its money in those six states, while Trump is less than 80% in the same states.
In their efforts to reach younger audiences who don’t watch TV, the Biden and Trump campaigns are pumping big money into digital advertising even as TV’s influence during election season contradicts doomsday predictions about its role. during peak political times.
“One big change that we have seen over time that has certainly accelerated in 2020 is that young people are not watching TV. They are certainly not watching broadcast TV. Everything is online or streaming,” Dr Travis Ridout, Thomas S. Foley Distinguished Professor of Government and Policy and director of the School of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs at Washington State University told IANS.
“And so, if campaigns want to speak to young people, they can’t just rely on TV advertising, and that’s why you’ve seen some of these big increases in digital advertising. people.”
The lion’s share of ad spend continues to go to broadcast TV and bigger chunks to cable TV as well, for its better targeting capabilities.
“There is just more content than ever before, both on television and digitally,” Dr Michael Franz and Dr Travis Ridout, co-directors of the Wesleyan Media Project, said at a press briefing.
The share of digital in total advertising spending is steadily increasing. From around 1% in 2010, it rose to 14% in 2016 and 20% in 2018. The first estimates of the Wesleyan Media Project set the share of digital at around 27% of advertising spending in the 2020 race.
The negativity in the ads has manifested itself in plain sight. Dark themes and attack ads are trending upward, both as a percentage of all negative ads and as a percentage of negativity of mentions in those ads.
What is also striking in the Wesleyan data are the universe volume totals of political ads and attack ads in particular. About 40% more commercials are shown on TV compared to 2018 in congressional races.
“So digital has increased, and so has television, and so that’s one of the really interesting features of this current time that we’re in. There’s more of everything.”
In terms of TV spending alone, the Wesleyan Media Project’s view is that Joe Biden’s campaign has a “pretty big advantage” over the Trump campaign. This analysis is based on ad spend in 210 US media markets.
The good thing about the Trump campaign is that they really target specific groups of voters and on election day those groups are going to come with them. The downside is that they send out a bunch of fundraising messages because they are desperate for money to pay for TV commercials.
nn / rt
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