Political Ad Tracker: Hispanic Media Reinforces Election Spend is Bigger, Not Smarter
With less than seven weeks left until the election, NPR notes that 2012 election ad spending has already matched 2008 election ad spend. We haven't even hit October yet, and more money than ever is being spent in the Election to claim a small number of votes.
Not only is much of the spending focused on the battleground states, but experts tell us that voters who have already decided which candidate will get their vote won’t change their mind -- regardless of how much is invested in changing their mind.
So the question marketers are asking themselves is that while more money is being spent on election 2012 media spend, is it being spent strategically? Is there any lesson to take from this over-the-top windfall coming to TV stations in Colorado, Florida and Ohio, amongst other states?
Hispanic Media Strategy
Perhaps a review of the 2012 election's Hispanic media investment strategy will hold some lessons for marketers. While both candidates have shown urgency in reaching the increasingly important Latino voter, there just has not been a Battle Royale on the Spanish-language networks. Instead of focusing on Hispanic media outlets, the candidates are sticking to saturating general-market stations in most battleground markets.
This general market approach makes little sense considering a Pew Hispanic Center survey notes that 20 percent of Hispanic voters said Spanish is their primary/preferred language. Another 45 percent say they are bilingual. It only stands to reason that the best way to win the hearts and minds of these voters is through Spanish-language media.
How Much Spending is Enough?
Despite what demographers and media consultants know about language preference, only slightly over four percent of the total 2008 political media budgets were spent in support of Spanish-language efforts across local, state and federal elections.
In the 2010 midterm elections, this amount dipped slightly to 3.9 percent of total political dollars. Needless to say, Spanish media executives are not pleased that a group of people representing 16 percent of the nation’s residents only get about 4 percent of the projected political dollars. Univision should be particularly aggrieved, as it is a ratings leader on a regular basis frequently beating the four general market stalwarts in nightly viewership.
Early Spending is Impacting Swing States
The Obama campaign has been outspending the Romney campaign in Hispanic media dollars. Obama has had ads up consistently in Florida, Nevada and Colorado. Romney has only spent a small amount on Spanish-language ads in Ohio and North Carolina. Recently Romney has launched several Spanish-language ads in Florida. Super PACS are also spending to reach this audience, spending $4 million on a campaign in Nevada and Colorado with more to come in many other swing states.
Exit Polls Will Show the Impact
The above example is a reminder to marketers that there are many layers to any target audience and a “one-spend gets all” approach in media is not a smart strategy. Will this approach be enough to earn candidates the Hispanic vote? The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will be tracking political spending on Spanish-language TV, Radio, Print and Online media outlets, but we won’t know for sure until November 6th exit polls.