2012 – Year of the
Super Pay No Attention to Commercials
Are Political Ads on Tradition Media being tuned out?
It’s officially Campaign Season! And if the next 9 months are like they were for people in Iowa, Florida and South Carolina the last month, we’re in for a flood of political TV ads. 35% of Americans won’t be affected, as they are not watching television “ live”. The rest of you – GET READY!
Moody’s Investors Service reported in 2011 that political advertising tied to presidential, Congressional and governor elections in 2012 will break records in 2012. The report entitled “U.S. Broadcasters Get Ready for Record-Breaking Political Ad Spending in 2012,” predicts “political ad revenue will grow 9 percent to 18 percent in 2012 over 2010 levels. And 2010 set a record of an estimated $2.3 billion in political broadcast TV ad spending”.
Campaign Media Analysis Group (www.kantarmediana.com/cmag), a company that monitors television advertising, reported that that the GOP presidential candidates and their allied Super PACs spent nearly $3 million on television ads in Iowa in December – in just two of the seven markets. $1.4 million was spent on the Des Moines market and $1.5 million on stations in the Cedar Rapids and Waterloo market.
What will be interesting to watch in 2012 is (1) if the buzz of conflicting messages on television will leave potential voters frustrated and angry (2) if we start seeing voters tune out from traditional political advertising. As Jerad Huber of Des Moines, IA, put it, “You just can’t get away from them,” referring to the continuous political ads the last few weeks in Iowa.
“The TV stations are stacking them up four and five deep,” said David Yepsen, former political reporter for the Des Moines Register and now director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. “When you get that level of saturation, it starts to become just background noise, and none of it punches through.”
One other article described the TV advertisements this way, “They dribble in like ceiling leaks on a rainy day, a drop at a time, then faster and faster until by evening they bear down in a steady downpour.”
Another article brought humor into it, “The only way to survive the forthcoming deluge is to turn off your TV altogether. Of course, even if you do that, they’ll get you with their robo-calls. So unplug your phones. Just sit there in the dark, clinging to your loved ones.”
I’m hopeful that 2012 is the year political consultants, PACs and campaigns understand that in today’s marketing world, successful messaging isn’t about pushing your message AT voters, it’s about engaging your supports and getting them to push your message virally to their peers. 90% of people trust peer recommendations, and only 14% of people trust advertisers. Campaigns will be won by groups who understand this delicate balance.
Image via Foxtongue
About the Author Cami Zimmer is President of Campaign Touch, a mobile and digital strategy agency providing consulting, mobile app/SMS development services and online media buys. Zimmer started her career at the White House, and has spent the last seven years as an entrepreneur, focusing on project development, sales/marketing, management and business development. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Read more from this author