The National Conventions were the big political TV events of July. Both served as four-day attack ads against the opposing candidate, as well as heavily pro-Clinton or Trump ads.
Both camps also released a number of traditional TV ads heavily focused on Independent voters. During July, Hillary for America and Clinton PACs released six ads, and Trump PACs released two. No ads directly from the Trump campaign itself were aired.
According to Ace Metrix, a company that measures the impact of video advertising, all of the ads from the Clinton camp in July were among the weakest so far this cycle. All the ads were anti-Trump juxtaposing his lack of knowledge with Clinton’s stint as Secretary of State.
The negativity of the ads added to Clinton’s overall negativity when it comes to TV advertising, and they were particularly lacking in Agreement and Credibility.
Caveat: All the ads were aired prior to the RNC. What is clear is that touting Clinton’s foreign policy knowledge is not easily swaying “in-play” or Independent voters.
Republicans have realized this is where Clinton is vulnerable. Harping on the disaster in Benghazi and the rise of ISIL in the Mideast has been fodder for the Republicans. Conversely, Democrats will continue to point to Trump’s lack of experience in matters of government and foreign policy.
The pro-Trump Rebuilding America PAC aired two successful ads in July focusing on American jobs. Independents voters rated “America Soaring” as among the best ads of 2016 in Attention and Agreement scores. The ad did not mention Clinton or the Democrats and kept a positive tone throughout the minute-long spot.
The other ad released by Rebuilding America PAC attacks Clinton for supporting outsourcing to India. “Outsourcing” was the highest scoring negative ad among Independents in July, and third highest scoring among that group in 2016.
The importance of July ads, however, have been dampened by the conventions and daily political eruptions.