Commentary

Spot TV Is King Of Political Budgets, Jeb, Hillary Are Agency Favorites

A recent Strata survey canvassed various political ad agencies on their business preferences for the 2016 presidential race. The study illustrates what many have noted: TV is around for the long-haul.

According to the study, 88% of agencies surveyed say spot TV is the most common medium they use. Buttressing spot TV’s staying-power, 78% of the agencies reported it delivers the best ROI.

That is compared to 11% of agencies that said they find their best ROI on the leading social media networks.

Judd Rubin, Vice President of Strata, said “no other platform comes close” to TV, especially spot TV. He calls local news "still the most unique medium.”

When trying to increase awareness for a candidate, blanketing airwaves with TV is effective, particularly with older voters. Rubin also told Red, White & Blog that “digital helps motivate people to go to the polls and is effective in fundraising.”

Nevertheless, TV targeting has also improved, especially when compared to past cycles.

Though so-called “one-to-one targeting technologies don’t truly exist for TV,” Doug Hurd, co-founder and EVP of business development at Clypd, the programmatic TV platform, points out that there have been significant developments in “automating the workflow” around buying and selling TV ads.

The continued importance of TV may be partly responsible for another telling result of Strata’s survey: Jeb Bush was the preferred GOP candidate among 44% of the agencies, compared to 28% that picked Sen. Marco Rubio and 22% that chose Donald Trump.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton was the unanimous choice. Both Bush and Clinton are expected to spend heavily on TV, as are their corresponding super PACs, also lending to the favorite general election match-up in the Strata survey: Bush vs Clinton.

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