Election Overview: More Ads, More Money — Even More TransparencyHalfway through the presidential race, we’re looking at an unprecedentedly engaged air war jammed into an impossibly small patch of sky: more money squeezed into fewer markets; proliferating advertisers and increased transparency; and more creative executions airing for shorter stretches of time.
Despite what feels like coast-to-coast saturation, only one-fifth of all DMAs, 47, were seeing advertising by both sides as of July 12. In the most critical markets, ads are airing at frequencies typically seen 60 days out from Election Day, not dead-of-summer July. In Columbus, Ohio, 1,640 spots aired during the first 12 days of this month compared to 1,326 during the first 12 days of September 2008. Every presidential ad on the air in Columbus as of July 12 was negative.
Most of the media attention is being paid to tonnage, driven by hyperventilating (if you’re an editorial writer) or salivating (if you’re a broadcaster) over Super PACs and the prospect of fundraising record-smasher President Obama himself getting outspent on the air. Collectively, Republican advertisers will outspend Obama, and by a greater margin than Democrats outspent President George W. Bush in 2004.
But advertising professionals know that message matters as much as tonnage. Republican ad dollars spent on tearing down the known Obama rather than building up the unknown Romney may have diminishing returns. At this writing, except for a single positive spot that aired two months ago, the only English-language ads that have sought to humanize Romney have been negative ads by Democrats.
Here are the parameters of the 2012 air war:
More advertisers, more money
We’ve seen more big-spending presidential players by this point in the race than ever before. Kantar Media CMAG counts eight “major” non-candidate advertisers since the general election campaign began. Only two of the eight support Obama: Priorities USA Action and Planned Parenthood. Longtime Democratic constituencies such as environmentalists and unions also are teaming up with Priorities USA Action on ad buys.
The remaining six advertisers oppose the President: the Crossroads network, Restore Our Future, Americans for Prosperity, Concerned Women for America, American Future Fund, and American Energy
You can read the rest of this article at:: http://adage.com/article/campaign-trail/2012-election-overview-money-fewer-markets/236030/
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