The 2020 election cycle is already winding up to speed, and the automotive industry will feel the effects of the political frenzy long before election day. Before officials ever pass new taxes, cuts, and regulations, their political ad spending will have a noticeable impact on your own media and advertising options.
Political Action Committees (PACs) take on massive outreach campaigns to support their candidates, and their ad budgets are notoriously high. Last year, political campaigns spent a record-setting $4 billion for the midterm elections, and experts predict that spending will continue to rise for 2020. PACs dedicate over half of their ad budgets to reach audiences at the state or local level. This will make ad space scarce for exiting advertisers, including automotive dealers.
These high campaign budgets will increase the demand for ad spots wherever they go, so it’s important to secure your media buys before prices rise in response. You’ll need to identify which mediums you want to reach your audience through, then arrange your ads before political messages take up all available ad space.
Many local politicians prefer easily accessible TV and cable spots, but online advertising experienced a considerable spending increase between the 2014 to 2018 elections. According to Axios, political hopefuls expanded their spending in digital ads by 260 percent. This growth is expected to continue for the 2020 election cycle.
Even as the presidential election will command national attention, local markets will also experience a rush of ads for house, senate, and other campaigns. According to a forecast by BIA Advisory Services, candidates and their PACs will spend upwards of $6.55 billion on local ads. The report states that as much as $3.08 billion of this amount could be used for over-the-air television advertising, while online media could reap $1.37 billion. Cable is expected to receive $919 million, and radio could see $312 million.
If you plan on advertising through any of these mediums during the election cycle, remember to claim your ad space before it runs out.
The decisions our elected officials make can have a tremendous impact on the automotive industry, so watch for an upcoming article on the potential effects of tariffs on your business.
John Paul Strong: As owner and CEO of Strong Automotive Merchandising, John Paul Strong brings more than two decades of advertising experience to the table. He is the author of Next Day Traffic and leader of 115+ employees servicing more than 250 clients across the country. In 2018, John Paul was listed in the Birmingham Business Journal's Top CEO Awards and 2013's Top 40 Under 40.