Buying Media During an Election Year

The 2016 presidential election is predicted to net over $4 billion in TV advertising alone. The political advertising window begins sixty days prior to the election, so this year’s window will begin on Friday, September 9th and conclude with the election on Tuesday, November 8th. With that in mind, below are the top five media planning and buying steps you should already be taking this election year:

  1. Place media buys as early as possible or expect to pay premium rates.
  2. Plan for pre-emptions and have weeks available for “make-goods” outside of the political window.
  3. Avoid planning Early Morning News, Early News and Late News, as political advertising impacts these dayparts heavily.
  4. Consider planning alternatives to local TV:
    a. Cable (avoid news networks)
    b. Radio
    c. Digital
    d. Print
  5. Due to the lowest unit rate for political advertising, be prepared to reallocate individual spot costs to maintain the integrity of your schedule.
    a. Example: Work with your sales rep to lower your rate on programming that has open inventory and move those dollars to time periods that you are being pre-empted from to clear your inventory.

This election cycle promises to be a wild ride! May the best man, or woman, win!