What CTV Offers Political Advertisers In The 2020 Election

Four years ago, political advertisers were not heavily investing in Connected TV (CTV). This election cycle is different.

As opposed to traditional TV programming, CTV is TV that’s connected to the internet via a device, such as an Apple TV, Roku or Smart TV. As premium content continues to prosper and cord-cutters and cord-nevers ditch cable subscriptions for streaming apps, CTV has gained more market share.

Pre-pandemic, eMarketer forecast that CTV ad spend would hit $10 billion by 2021.

With stay-at-home orders and social distancing in place due to COVID-19, streaming TV’s popularity is accelerating. Campaign ad dollars are likely to continue flowing digitally. Both Biden and Trump are honing in on specific types of voters — hard-to-reach, undecided, highly influential, and young, particularly in swing and flip states.

CTV provides targeting within premium, brand-safe content not found on social media, with the agility that traditional TV buying lacks. This election, CTV is winning both eyeballs and political ad dollars.



With 80% of U.S. households streaming video to a connected device, the game is changing. Households no longer reachable through conventional TV advertising, have CTV as an alternative.

With CTV and its one-to-one digital targeting, political buyers eliminate wasted impressions and get more granular, so they’re no longer bound to Designated Market Areas (DMAs). Political advertisers can layer in additional criteria to help their buys go further, with higher match rates and viewability.

Advertisers are also recognizing that a strong political campaign uses data to identify the characteristics and interests of audience segments — which can include everything from party affiliation, geographic location, political donors, charitable/non-profit contributors to college education.

The 2020 election is shaping up to be the most expensive election in US history. With a 24-hour news cycle, campaigns want to make the most of their campaign dollars. Political advertising budgets and goals change quickly: parties may need to spend a large sum within 24-to-48 hours to get an urgent message out, which is easy to do with programmatic and CTV, but nearly impossible through traditional TV buying.

With political messaging, advertisers don’t want their ads labeled “fake news” or showing up against fraudulent content. They recognize the vital role brand safety plays in establishing credibility with voters.

As opposed to user-generated content on social media that can be potentially problematic, CTV can offer an effective and transparent opportunity to engage with voters without facing a brand-safety backlash.

Overall, CTV offers political advertisers the ability to deliver highly impactful TV ads with the precision of digital advertising.

With many Americans spending more time at home, they are engaging with more forms of digital media — including long-form, broadcast-quality CTV, which is having a breakout moment. Political advertisers are using the platform to reach audiences that could be their deciding votes.

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