Role of Advertising in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaigns


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Role of Advertising in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaigns

Evan Tracey – President,
TNS Media Intelligence/Campaign Media Analysis Group

The Advertising Research Foundation

Published in: News & Politics
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Role of Advertising in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaigns

  1. 1. ™ 1 Role of Advertising in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaigns Evan Tracey – President, TNS Media Intelligence/Campaign Media Analysis Group The Advertising Research Foundation
  2. 2. ™ 2 Part of a world leading market information group TNS Located in Arlington, VA Providing insights on political media research since 1997 Track and analyze political public affairs and issue-advocacy advertising Experienced political researchers assemble the most reliable comprehensive research and reporting Help clients better manage their media strategy, media buys, public relations and communications efforts National trade associations, foundations, Fortune 100 companies, national media organizations, the political and financial press academia and hundreds of national, statewide and local political campaigns rely on CMAG data TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG The Business of Politics
  3. 3. ™ 3 TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG Elements of Service Custom-Built Information Real-time alert of new ads Develop coding/reporting process according to the client criteria Create result-oriented data Automated Functions Automated reports based on criteria Reports updated twice daily Ad Hoc Research We manage the data so you don’t have to Custom requests
  4. 4. ™ 4 Role of Advertising in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaigns Political Marketplace Campaign 2008 The landscape The primary’s Made for TV The Players Obama McCain Groups The Role Of New Media Final Thoughts
  5. 5. ™ 5 The Changing “Business” of Politics: The Political Marketplace The Uniqueness of the Marketplace Four-year business cycle Event & popularity driven Upward growth in ad spending Changes to campaign finance laws Continuous campaign More campaigns using TV advertising TV is dominate media Replay of past campaigns Cost Majority of ad spending in final 60 days before an election
  6. 6. ™ 6 Why TV is #1? “One day of sale” business Fighting the last campaigns The most efficient Partisan Cable News TV drives, independent, late deciding and undecided voters By comparison (2006) Local Cable TV $200 million Newspaper $20 million Radio $60 million Internet $2-5 million Outdoor $15-30 million
  7. 7. ™ 7 Campaign 2008
  8. 8. ™ 8 2008 Race for the White House The Landscape Polls Favored Democrats Nationally Unpopular president Over $63 million spent attacking Bush by name Flawed GOP nominee Right track/wrong track GOP Political scandals and mismanagement Financial Collapse & Economic anxiety War fatigued Lopsided party ID/registration Down ballot races leaning overwhelmingly toward Democrats Monetary advantage for Democrats
  9. 9. ™ 9 2008 Race for the White House The Landscape The Primary’s Over $240 million on TV ads in primary New front loaded process Historically early start to ad cycle Record primary ad spending in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina Obama & McCain spent heavy on TV in must win states Obama shattered Iowa TV record McCain focused solely on NH TV Combined spending: Democrats $170 million vs. GOP $58 million Contest-by-contest focus meant primary ad spending in 46 states
  10. 10. ™ 10 Campaign 2008 The Race for the White House A Made for TV Election Over $700m total spent on TV ads CMAG estimates that more than $200 million other media Delayed Presidential General Election TV ad cycle In 2008: What is Old was New Again Network TV Long Form Ads Radio 68 advertisers in the Primary Over 55 advertisers in the General Election Infomercials to Pump Top Ads
  11. 11. ™ 11 Election By the Numbers Obama projected TV spending $250m All spent after June 20th 2008. Breaks previous candidate record of $188 million Over 117 unique TV ads over 430,000 airings McCain projected to spending $128 million on TV ads $30 million less than John Kerry in 2004 74 unique TV ads over 240,000 airings Groups RNC $35 million Pro-McCain $15 million Pro-Obama $10 million Others $40 million
  12. 12. ™ 12 Big Money = Big Markets Obama Ad Spend Advantage Net cable + $6 million Denver + $1.6 million Charlotte +2.6 million Miami + $8.9 million Tampa + $7 million Chicago + $1.7 million Net TV + $10 million Boston + $2.2 million Cleveland + $3 million Philadelphia + $4 million Wash DC + $11 million
  13. 13. ™ 13 The Candidates
  14. 14. ™ 14 The Candidates Barack Obama Spending & Fundraising Forego public financing Record-setting Leverage the money Strategy Use up as much “oxygen” as possible with ads and media September Spending Surge Force McCain to operate in a message imbalance Target Red States Own, don’t rent, the message Keys to success Expand the battleground Run nationally Attack and rebuttal
  15. 15. ™ 15 The Candidates Barack Obama The Message Multiple level Proportional National themes with local attacks “Senator John McBush” The method Win in September Multi-generational approach Prime Time TV Sports Targeted media and data acquisition Video Games/Wireless Social media Hispanic TV Infomercials National Cable
  16. 16. ™ 16 11.6%$6,109,43610.4%165369/1/08 - 9/7/08 19.6%$7,599,51916.7%198569/8/08 - 9/14/08 21.6%$9,692,29615.7%235539/15/08 - 9/21/08 30.9%$14,016,7882.1%240699/22/08 - 9/28/08 25.9%$18,925,00429.6%341969/29/08 - 10/5/08 42.1%$32,701,51723.2%4454210/6/08 - 10/12/08 The Obama “Spending Surge”
  17. 17. ™ 17 The Candidates John McCain Spending & Fundraising Game the system Primary money Taking public financing Strategy Target & saturate “traditional” battleground Go and stay negative Define the race Keys to success Keep battleground compact & purple Use RNC money Rely on groups for some messages
  18. 18. ™ 18 The Candidates John McCain The Message Mono-toned & tactical Attacking No “range” of message Disjointed message with party ads Yes – “Joe the Plumber” No – “Jerry the Preacher” The method Don’t lose in September Overcome The “Chicago” Problem Radio & Local Cable
  19. 19. ™ 19 The McCain Box 44.6%$7,803,07446.3%184089/1/08 - 9/7/08 1.7%$7,941,3824.3%192339/8/08 - 9/14/08 -24.0%$6,402,211-26.9%151599/15/08 - 9/21/08 -26.5%$5,060,297-42.2%106579/22/08 - 9/28/08 44.1%$9,058,24040.1%178069/29/08 - 10/5/08 3.4%$9,380,56819.1%2200210/6/08 - 10/12/08 0.2%$9,401,5613.6%2283210/13/08 - 10/19/08
  20. 20. ™ 20 The Supporter Groups A dash here and pinch there The Party’s Republican Party was better funded Support role for McCain Democratic Party was not as well funded Focused ads on MI & GOTV 527 Groups Advantage GOP Late money Non-Disruptive Money shifted to House & Senate Issue-Driven Agenda Groups Millions spent on issues focused on the general election Background noise
  21. 21. ™ 21 The Negative Campaign Candidate Percent Negative (U WIS AD LAB) McCain (Cand/Coord)77.30% McCain (inc. Party)80.50% Obama (Cand/Coord)63.20% Obama (inc. Party)63.10% McCain had to be negative Obama counter balanced
  22. 22. ™ 22 The Role Of The New Media
  23. 23. ™ 23 Internet Election Take Six This Is “The Internet Election” (maybe) 1998: Read my plan 2000: Look what I can do! 2002: Cool web site, bad candidate 2004: Meet up with Howard Dean 2006: Macaca mania 2008: Tools in the box Internet: Still More Questions Than Answers Is it for selling or buying? Can you reach undecided voters? If yes, how? What’s the role for web ads in 2010 and beyond?
  24. 24. ™ 24 Campaign 2008 Election Spending Forecast The Role of the Internet in the 2008 Election Top-tier presidential campaigns Online ads mostly used for fundraising and grassroots Less than $50 million of total spend on on-line ads Top sites: local and national news, ideology, demographic, sports and election Mistakes and perception
  25. 25. ™ 25 Winning the Ad Wars Final month Obama outspent McCain 3-1 on ads Overall Advantage for Obama was better than 2-1 Obama planed to spend heavy before inventory constricted in final 30 days McCain held back dollars for final push with RNC Partisan groups waited until it was too late to deliver attacks, diverted money to house and senate races Obama had a message and McCain could not get one out
  26. 26. ™ 26 And the Winner Is! Message Money TV & Radio