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EXCLUSIVE: The Swing States Where Political TV Ad Spending Has Heated Up—and Gone Cold

October 12th, 2016 | Read more articles from 2016 or Visit the News Archive
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Originally Appearing at: AdAge

By Simon Dumenco

Editor’s note: Here’s the fourth installment of the Ad Age Swing State Advertising Heat Map, presented in partnership with Strata, an advertising software firm that processes more than $50 billion in ad transactions each year. This monthly view is designed to supplement our weekly Campaign Scorecard posts that appear every Friday in our Campaign Trail section. Some context and analysis from Simon Dumenco follows.—Ken Wheaton

  • ICYMI, here’s the previous installment in this series: “Political Campaign TV Ad Spending Is Surging in North Carolina. Ohio? Not So Much”
  • As we’ve previously noted, by drilling down into Strata’s hyperlocal TV advertising data—the company works with political ad agencies representing 75% of the total political ad spending—we can get a good sense of the ebb and flow of ad dollars among the batteground states.
  • Colorado is red-hot, having seen a big surge (+394%) in political ad spending in September compared with August—which is particularly notable because in our last chart, when we looked at August compared with July, Colorado was cold (-38%).
  • Last time North Carolina was red-hot (+166%); now it’s cooled off (+37%).
  • Last time Wisconsin was hot (+110%); now it’s gone cold (-21%).
  • Last time Virginia was cold (-50%); now it’s hot (+185%).
  • Last time Michigan was cold (-66%); now it’s hot (+203%), thanks to a big surge in spending in the Detroit market.
  • Judd Rubin, VP-revenue at Strata, told Ad Age that he thinks we’re about to see a final, huge push in TV ad spending that will shift more states in our map into the red and orange zones. “Trump has to reach women voters to clarify his comments and change the narrative, and Trump’s challenges force House and Senate candidates to get their message out independent of the presidential contest,” he said. “There’s no better medium to achieve those goals than TV. We’re also going to begin seeing Hillary empty the coffers in her final push toward November 8.”

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