November 4, 2019

Chasing Media Impact During a Political Ad Storm

Can Brands Find Shelter from the Political Storm in 2020?

The 2020 election season promises to break just about every record in the book. Some prognosticators are forecasting voter turnout as high as 80%. Kantar Media is projecting $6 billion in federal campaign spending, and that does not even include all of the dollars that will be pouring in from political action committees and local races.

With a highly-motivated electorate and a fully-revved-up political machine, one thing is clear: 2020 will be a year where brands find themselves trying to carve out spaces wherever they can – both in user mindshare and in ad inventory. Weathering this unprecedented storm of political advertising and attention will take a thoughtful approach, but there are things that brands can do to prepare now.

  • Find those political-free pockets. In certain markets, particularly in terms of broadcast media, finding space for non-political messages will be tough. However, many digital platforms are opting out of political advertising entirely. Twitter just announced that they are banning all political advertising, and TikTok and Pinterest have been free of those messages for quite a while. It’s likely that weary users will flock to these platforms for a non-partisan timeout at various times throughout the year, so getting a foothold in these spaces now is a smart play for brands.
  • Try some new things. Every challenge is an opportunity and getting crowded out of some of the spaces that have been part of media plans for years gives brands the chance to make a case to try some things that are more experimental. For example, what brand marketer has not daydreamed about taking some paid media budget and putting that into a robust content strategy? Maybe this is the year to finally get that marketing automation campaign off the ground or to increase focus on search engine optimization and user experience. Dust off that wish list and think about what might make the most impact in this impending climate of shifting attention.
  • Think ahead. Getting plans in place a little earlier than usual can be a big advantage in an environment of scarcity. What can be bought and committed to now? Vendors and publishers strive for reliable revenue, so booking early may offer outsized advantages as we head into this political season.
  • Keep it positive. Users will be in search of a positive respite in the midst of the 2020 political storm. Keeping messages inspiring and uplifting promises to offer a welcome change of pace for weary media consumers.

Navigating the choppy media climate of the 2020 political season will be tricky for any brand, but a little planning and preparation will go a long way.


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