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All Politics is Local

22 August 2013 | Blog

In “Local Television Is A Smart Bet”, Farshad Family discusses the bright future (and increased pace of consolidation) for local network television. Advertising on local television is expected to “grow at 1% to 3% each year”. We’ve discussed before the advantages of targeting at the local tv level in general, where advertisers have access to incredibly granular audience data. Local knowledge makes it possible to cater to ever diversifying demographics. But he also brings up a good point about another group for whom the more local advertising can be, the better.

“According to the TVB, in 2012 political ad spend on local television was close to $3 billion dollars. With the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling easing restrictions on political expenditures, most expect that number will grow over the upcoming election cycles. It is also likely that issue-based advertising — such as spots advocating for a certain position on gun control or healthcare — will help buoy this sector in between election seasons.”

Whether used for extremely local races, or to help drum up support on national issues, political advertising can benefit from targeted TV advertising as much as if not more than commercial advertising can. The ability to deliver different ads addressing different concerns, or rallying the base versus converting the independents, can help make or break a campaign. Much was made of the Obama campaigns targeted TV efforts in the last presidential election. Now that the knowledge is public, candidates who want to succeed will increasingly need this particular tool in their toolbox. Avoiding wear-out, targeting messages, and linking poll results with ads through analytics can all help a campaign succeed. As we head into new campaign seasons, you can expect to see more targeted political ads than ever before.