Political advertising will be especially significant in this year’s midterm elections, considering that control of both houses of the U.S. Congress is in play. Campaigns are grappling with a seismic shift in television viewing habits during the pandemic, which kept many people at home during a time when major media companies either expanded or launched streaming video services.

“Streaming has presented a huge opportunity for us to reach voters there, and to really reach them in a way that I think is more meaningful, more personal,” Jamie Patton, director at political media firm Uplift Campaigns, said in this interview with Beet.TV.

The “lean-back” experience of television can mean that viewers are more likely to stick with ad breaks during their preferred programming.

“Often on mobile ads or a desktop ad, you have this sort of dynamic where folks are scrolling away or moving throughout the platform,” Patton said. “With streaming content, you really have more of a captive audience who has made themselves comfortable, has sat down to watch something.”

High-Quality Experiences

In identifying media platforms that are most effective at reaching voters, Patton said her firm is looking for ways to stand out alongside quality content and a lower ad load. In many cases, connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) provides that dynamic.

“Our clients really want to see quality. They really want to buy quality,” Patton said. “Political ads in the wide variety — they’re often ads that folks may not always be the most excited to watch. So, you really do want to reach folks in this quality experience, and clients are … willing to pay for that quality experience.”

Complying With Transparency Laws

Political advertising is highly regulated, which can complicate how campaigns comply with a patchwork of transparency laws among different regions.

“It’s just about being flexible, about really seeing the opportunity and new products, about just managing the compliance landscape,” Patton said. “It’s a bit of a process, but it’s something that can certainly be done and it takes the right team who really knows how to get it done.”

Source: Morning Consult

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Programmatic and Political Advertising, a Beet.TV Leadership Series presented by Xandr