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Midterm Mania

Midterm Mania

With media spending already in excess of $2.1 billion, you might need to be prepared this fall.

Ad Age Campaign Ad Scorecard just completed an analysis showing spending levels currently just over $2.1 billion prior to the November midterm elections. Yes, billion, with U.S. Senate races leading the charge. This includes spending in TV, radio, and tracked digital advertising from December 28, 2021 through July 5, 2022. This includes not only the campaigns but spending from political action committees. U.S. Senate campaign ad spending accounted for $878 million of that total with Republicans spending $460 million and Democrats spending $405 million (the remaining dollars being spent by Independent candidates and issue-based campaigns). U.S. House race campaigns totaled $485 million and Gubernatorial races accounted for $517 million. The most money was spent in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and then Arizona.

Hang on to your hats (and advertising money) this fall. Political campaign cash is going to run the local airwaves in your local markets, with BIG spends on local TV, some national cable, and streaming services. This October, be prepared to see multiple commercials at every break from campaigns and PACs.  

In fact, Cross Screen Media (a marketing analytics company) is projecting approximately $8.8 billion in advertising media buys for the 2022 midterms, in comparison to $9.5 billion during the 2020 presidential election. Back in 2018, those midterm spends were hovering around $3.9 billion. That’s a 128% increase as of now. The big money will be spent in Q3 and Q4 just like retail.

The bad news: Politics will be flooding your local airwaves – impacting your media plans. Be prepared to get bumped even if you’re buying early. Remember, the earlier the better. It has always worked as first one in, last one out. Even if your buy is already placed, if you’re in one of these highly contested race areas, begin your Plan B. Chances are very good your commercial will not run. Rates will be considerably higher as well. The good news: Anyone viewing an ad other than a political one will be greatly appreciated and should stand out from the clutter.

Ah, politics. Don’t you just love it?

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