As we are currently in the first political window of 2013 in Las Vegas and dealing with make-goods and LUR’s (lowest unit rate)….let’s review 2012. We were all warned going into 2012 that it was going to be a strong year politically, with record breaking spend, etc. Did it live up to the hype?
Short answer: Yes. Additionally, both presidential campaigns spent heavily on advertising in Nevada and Colorado with Las Vegas and Denver media markets seeing the most presidential political advertising. According to the Washington Post and Kantar Media, Nevada as a whole saw $55 million in total TV political ad spend with Las Vegas (ranked #40 Nielsen TV market) accounting for $46 million. Colorado reached $73 million total TV ad dollars, with Denver (ranked #17) racking up $59 million of that take. See political TV advertising spend broken down by state and by candidate for the 2012 election with this interactive map!
The Wesleyan Media Project reports that in 2012, TV viewers were bombarded with more than 3 million ads related to the presidential and congressional elections. Overall, there was a 33% increase in the number of ads and 81% increase in spend compared to the 2008 election. While local news is always impacted heavily by political advertising and is the main focus, the Obama campaign also focused on talk and reality shows and niche cable networks more so than the Romney campaign. This explains why the Obama campaign was able to spend $4 million less in TV ad dollars in the Las Vegas market than his counterpart Romney, yet receive five thousand more total ads. This could very well have proved a critical strategy in Obama’s win of the crucial swing state of Nevada.
The TVB reports that local TV stations captured over 80% of total television spending in the political category during the 2012 season. “Television stations total political revenue, in the face of increased competition, from new and social media, continues to boast a high growth rate: $1.5 billion in 2008, $2.1 billion in 2010 (+35%) and $2.9 billion in 2012 (+38%).”
Obama spent more on social campaigning than his counterpart by 10 to 1. Obama spent a whopping 47 million dollars to target key constituents nationwide.
It was clear that the focus was much more important for the Obama campaign for driving voters to influence and create actions. Building this community proved vital as President Obama had more Facebook fans, more Twitter followers and more YouTube views than Romney.
So it appears that in the political TV and new/social media advertising game during the 2012 election, the Obama Campaign clearly had the smarter strategies. However both party lines continue to show the same trend with increasing their advertising spend each election year.
Pamela Payne and Cameron Partridge contributed to this article.