Media Buying Lessons from the 2012 Election Campaign

As the 2012 presidential election came roaring to an end, we closed the door on a record-breaking year of ad spends. Experts say more than $3 billion were spent, more than ever before in history.  So where did the money go?  Was it effective?  Either way, elections bring us a good case study in political media buying best practices.  Here are some lessons from the campaign trail:

  • Cross-promote – Both candidates utilized campaigns incorporating multiple traditional and digital channels. This way you catch those not on Facebook on TV, or those not watching TV via radio.

          Takeaway: Effective campaigns utilize multiple ad mediums to get the message out.

  • Going Local – Both candidates poured most of their money into just a few states. Swing states like Ohio and Florida are important because the race is very tight there.

          Takeaway: You don’t have to advertise nationally to get big results, local advertising is also effective.

  • Reach – Both candidates bought ads during the Olympics. Why? Massive audience viewership.

           Takeaway: Advertise where the people are, whether it is online or on television.

  • Traditional Media is still viable… In a digital world with tablets, smartphones, Facebook, and the Internet literally in our pockets, most campaign funds were spent on broadcast television ads.

           Takeaway: Television remains the most expensive and effective source of advertising.

  • …But so is new media: The 2008 elections campaign mobilized voters on digital and social media unlike any candidate had before. Both campaigns took note and had a presence online.

          Takeaway: Learn what works and implement it for your campaign. 

With these tips, feel confident in putting your brand on the 2016 campaign trail…don’t wait another 4 years!

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