According to Kantar Media over $6.75 billion was spent on Television and Radio media promoting the 2018 mid-term gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races.
Before this number even came rolling in we knew it was going to be a challenging 2018 media environment – especially for our clients that advertise locally. The media tightening started in summer and became progressively worse the closer we got to November 6. The expectation by some was that after the election, the media would open-up and all would be right in the media world. Unfortunately, the networks now have hundreds of thousands of makegoods to fulfill before the end of the year. Plus, it is 4Q which is always challenging regardless – Black Friday, Cyber Monday, holiday shopping, healthcare dollars.
The only winners this year, in my opinion, are the media providers that have taken in the over 6 billion dollars in political ad spend – Meredith, Sinclair Broadcasting Group, Fox Television Stations, CBS, etc.
What we do have to look forward to is a wide open 2019 – no Olympics, no political races, no World Cup. It will be the first year, in over 10 years, that the media environment may have a respite from increased rates and distressed inventory due to media premium payments.
That being said, we probably only have 1-year of solace. To ensure you are ready for the 2020 political mayhem, here are our top 3 tips to weather the next political storm.
- Plan ahead! Take advantage of opportunistic media outside of months that are going to cause your clients issues. Put together a flowchart that clearly outlines the races on the calendar along with the expectations of when media dollars will be coming into the marketplace.
- Diversify your media mix. Television has always been the media of choice for politicians – delivering the highest reach during the political media rat race. Help your clients test and identify other media opportunities that will help them weather the storm. Test alternative channels before you are in the middle of the chaos.
- Keep your client informed on the political spending implications and specifically how you foresee it affecting them. If the client expects the tightening media environment, you can have collaborative discussions on how to best navigate.
December 26 and 2019 can’t come fast enough. We are looking forward to a peaceful media negotiating and buying!