As November 2014 is quickly approaching, you’ll be seeing the leaves changing and the temperatures dropping soon, but as this is an election year, you’ll also be seeing plenty of something else: political ads.
Love them or hate them, political ads have become a staple in America’s electoral system, and politicians are willing to spend big bucks to court your vote. In fact, so far in 2014, more than $8.3 billion has been spent on political advertising, and that figure only stands to increase going forward.
Why Are Politicians Spending So Much Money?
When it comes to getting votes, often times, it simply comes down to name recognition. Many candidates know that not everyone follows politics closely, so they use political advertising to bombard voters in the hopes that these voters will simply cast their ballots for the candidate who they have heard of the most. Additionally, as the Internet has transformed the information and communications landscape, many candidates are launching campaigns online through social media, and this requires additional spending.
How the Internet Affects Political Mudslinging
Of course, with the ability to communicate almost instantaneously through the Internet, the age-old traditional of political mudslinging has taken a leap into the digital era. Today, political candidates need to constantly be on the watch for unfair attacks and character assassination attempts. As such, many use online political advertising to fend off attacks from political rivals, to launch attacks themselves, or to get in front of political battles before they start.
While this is nothing new and politicians have always been on guard against mudslinging (or starting the mudslinging themselves,) the speed at which information travels these days now leads to more advertising needed in more places more often.
What This Means for Publishers
Because so much money is being spent on political advertising, it would be wise of publishers to get in on the action, even if they don’t deal specifically with this type of advertising. In addition, if you’re a publisher that doesn’t have a strong online presence, now is the time to start building one. While print political advertising is certainly still a viable market, the shift toward digital political advertising continues to widen the gap each and every day.
It’s also important to keep in mind that most political advertising is done between June and November during election years, so strike while the iron is hot.
The Future of Political Advertising
Although, as mentioned above, most political advertising is done during the latter half of the year, the campaign season seems to continue to grow longer. Many candidates are beginning to campaign for office at the beginning of the year and even prior to that when a primary is involved.
It’s predicted that the next presidential race will include advertising that begins in 2015 and will continue through to November of 2016. This means that even if you’re not planning to get involved in publishing political ads this cycle, you should go ahead and start planning for the next one so you can take advantage of the additional revenue. In the end, one thing is for sure: political ads are here to stay.