Brace Yourself: A Tidal Wave of Political Is Coming
Ah, political season. That fun and exciting time when every ad we see on TV consists of someone telling us why we should cast our vote for them and why his/her opponent isn’t qualified for the job. EVERY. SINGLE. AD. Believe it or not, political ads will be here soon. Very soon. Sure, you’re probably seeing a few here and there right now for this November, but I’m not talking about mayoral races, etc. this fall – I’m talking about the granddaddy of them all, the 2016 election. The time when presidential candidates will join state and local political contenders to spend what will be the most money ever spent in a political season. What you’re seeing right now is just a warning shot. The F5 of political advertising storms is coming. Think this is obnoxious as a media consumer? I’d absolutely agree. But I’d also argue that is even more annoying as a businessperson, and even more annoying than that as a media buyer. I’m warning you – prepare yourself – prepare yourself NOW.
2016 will mark the first time there is no presidential incumbent since the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling that eliminated campaign spending caps. PACs (political action committees) have already been gearing up for 2016 for quite some time now, waiting to take the gloves off and blanket the airwaves with ads. The L.A. Times reported back in April that initial estimates were showing that political spending in 2016 for state and local government positions should top $3.5 billion (with 2/3 of that being dumped into TV). This would mark a 20% increase in the $2.9 billion spent in 2014 for the congressional and state contests. It is expected that spending amongst the presidential candidates will top $5 billion alone. And it’s not just TV, radio, and print which are going to get inundated as in years past. It is projected that digital advertising will see an influx of about $1 billion this political cycle.
So, back to my warning. You see, I’m not warning you simply to be ready for the annoyance of political ads. Sure, that’s aggravating, but what I’m talking about is the need to prepare so this coming monster doesn’t affect your marketing plan for 2016 and have a negative impact on your business.
Common sense tells us that there are going to be inventory issues scattered throughout the media landscape. With a wave of money infiltrating both traditional and digital media, avails are going to tighten up. Also, in many cases, media vendors will be forced to tighten up their rate structure. Law dictates that for some political dollars, lowest unit rates must be offered by vendors, which impacts the way many stations price themselves. Stations begin preparing for this months in advance to minimize the bottom-line impact during political seasons. This means less flexibility to negotiate on rate, less opportunity for added value spots, and less chance of promotional value add.
The best thing any business can do marketing-wise to prepare is to solidify a 2016 marketing plan sooner rather than later. Get your media buys booked! Here at Fruchtman Marketing, we are meeting with our clients in September to discuss 2015, prepare for Q4, and get 2016 budgets in place. We know that the sooner we can get our clients’ 2016 media placed, the less impact the political craziness will have. If you can book now, book now! If you need to wait then don’t wait long – you don’t want to gouged on rate, or perhaps, even locked out.
It’s going to be hard to not be behind the eight ball in 2016, but it is imperative that you try and stay out in front of it. The means booking early, so that your inventory is locked in before the madness ensues. Want help? Contact email@example.com and let our media team get to work for you!