Victorious GOP Candidates in Four Major “Battleground” States Largely Outspent Their Democrat Rivals on Cable Advertising
Clinton’s Local Cable Targeting Strategy Overshadowed by Trump’s Earned Media
Viamedia’s 2016 Political Ad Revenue Up More Than 50% vs. 2012
New York City – November 10, 2016 – A common pattern among victorious Senate candidates in many key “battleground” states was the candidates’ use of local cable television advertising.
These findings come from a preliminary analysis of cable advertising transaction data by Viamedia, the largest independent cable TV ad management company. The data was culled from political advertising purchased on more than 60 multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) of various sizes in more than 70 markets served by Viamedia throughout the country.
Viamedia 2016 political ad sales in certain “battleground” states won by Republican senators show that Ohio Sen. Rob Portman’s successful re-election campaign outspent that of his opponent, former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland; 86% of all cable ad dollars spent by Ohio’s two Senate candidates was from the Portman campaign. And in Florida, Sen. Rubio’s victorious campaign outspent that of his Democratic rival, Rep. Patrick Murphy, 59% to 41%. In Pennsylvania, Sen. Pat Toomey’s successful campaign outspent that of his Democratic opponent Katie McGinty 94% to 6% -- a marked change from 2010 when Toomey’s campaign spent only a small portion on cable ads. And almost 100% of all cable advertising in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race was spent by Sen. Richard Burr’s successful re-election effort in Viamedia markets.
In other states, won by Democrat senators, Viamedia’s political ad sales indicate that Catherine Cortez Masto outspent Joe Heck on cable TV 72% to 28% in her successful race in Nevada, while Michael Bennet in Colorado, Richard Blumenthal in Connecticut, Brian Schatz in Hawaii and Charles Schumer in New York each accounted for nearly all of the total cable ad spending in their respective victories.
“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in geo-targeted TV ad spending from ‘down-ballot’ candidates, PACs and issues advertisers,” said Mark Lieberman, Viamedia president & CEO. “Successful political advertisers during this unprecedented election cycle have embraced the uniqueness of the data and geo-targeting capability of local cable to reach the right voters effectively.”
According to the 2016 ad buys, 47% of all cable TV political ad spending came from issues advertisers -- PACs and other organizations; 38% has come from down-ballot campaigns, primarily for the Senate and House; 9% has come from the presidential campaigns; and 6% reflected spending by PACs on behalf of presidential campaigns.
By comparison, in the same Viamedia markets in 2012, 45% of all cable TV political ad spending came from issues advertisers and PACs – including PAC spending on behalf of the presidential campaigns; 44% came from down-ballot campaigns; and 11% was from the presidential campaigns.
At only 6% of overall political cable spend, presidential campaign-focused cable-TV PAC expenditures varied by state, with the majority of those dollars in Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina bought by Team Clinton, and the majority of those dollars in Florida and Indiana bought by Team Trump.
“While the Clinton presidential campaign and pro-Clinton PACs outspent Trump significantly on local cable advertising by 9-to-1 across the country in our markets, this just wasn’t enough to overcome the earned (free) media strategy adopted by the populist Trump campaign,” added Lieberman.
The 2016 election season proved robust for cable TV advertising overall. In fall 2015 Borrell Associates estimated that political advertising on cable would grow as much as 39% in 2016 compared to 2012; Viamedia’s “same-store” political-revenue grew more than 50% for the 2016 election season compared to 2012, and the company exceeded its original 2016 political advertising forecast by 25%.
Headquartered in New York City, Viamedia is the largest independent cable TV ad management company for local, regional and national advertising, programmatic and ad tech solutions, responsible for nearly one million spots per day on behalf of over 12,000 advertisers. The company specializes in selling advertising on behalf of 60 U.S. cable and telecommunications service providers, utility companies and municipalities, and employs approximately 380 people across the country. The company also operates placemedia, a programmatic data-driven TV ad platform, which aggregates ad inventory from Viamedia, major MVPDs and more than 40 national cable networks across 210 DMAs. For more information, please visit www.viamediatv.com and www.placemedia.com.
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