Programmatic Ad Buying Plays Expanding Role in Shaping Elections

Programmatic Ad Buying Plays Expanding Role in Shaping Elections

As published in CommPRO


The upcoming 2016 elections in both the U.S. and UK are fast approaching, and advertisers know that delivering the right message to the right user at the right time can make a real difference in how people vote. Even more than in previous elections, today’s digitally interconnected world means programmatic ad buying plays a vital role in determining the overall outcome by strengthening the impact of your message.  After all, every single vote counts.

Changing the Face of Political Advertising

Today’s voters consume media faster and more continuously than ever before. Prior to the advent of programmatic, political parties would pay for campaign ads to appear in print, on radio, online and on TV. But these messages were often too general for the specific audience they landed upon.

However, in today’s programmatic ecosystem, political advertising is no longer hit or miss. Advertisers now have the opportunity to target their audiences based on demographics or geography with relevant, data-driven messages in different high-impact formats, across channels. What does this mean?

Inventory that Makes a Difference

“Attention” is evolving to be one of the most important KPIs in the upcoming U.S. and UK elections when it comes to digital strategies, measuring how successful you are in delivering a cross-platform campaign.

Recent studies show that over 50% of TV viewers are distracted when watching television by simultaneously browsing their PCs, mobile and tablet devices. Therefore, providing a cross-platform 360-degree experience for users will increase the likelihood of your messages getting to the voters.

Utilizing high-impact ad formats, from Video pre-roll to static display special executions, offers a unique and increasingly effective viewing experience. Additional options that also offer distinctive user experiences range from large video units that include a customizable video player with tailor-made content to Out-Stream ad format, which generates additional video inventories and enables content monetization with video ads.

This variety of ad formats is advantageous in the political arena, where ad cycles for political campaigns are often hyper targeted, time sensitive and region-specific.
The size of scale offered is also an important consideration for advertisers, especially for political campaigns. Buyers invested in the U.S. election will benefit from being offered a sizeable amount of unique impressions on a daily basis from Americans in all states and demographics.

Added Value

Unlike in decades past, today with programmatic, advertisers now have near-instant performance analysis. Party campaigners can look at stats of whether display or video ads have been viewed or not and adjust their targeting granularity from the site level through state or designated market areas all the way to device type, supporting the most granular campaign strategies.

During intense election campaigns, fast turnarounds and 24/7 support are crucial for buyer success. Round-the-clock support is vital for any required change in buying strategies.

Two Demographics That Will Tip the Scale

Millennials (those aged 18-35) will tip the scale in the U.S. and UK elections. In fact, this will be the first U.S. presidential election where Millennials will equal – some sources even say surpass – Baby Boomers as the largest segment of eligible U.S. voters. As a whole, Millennials are characterized as being more liberal than older generations, and that they tend to vote Democratic. In fact, in the last three U.S. presidential elections, most voters who were between 18 to 29 years old supported the Democratic candidate, according to the Pew Research Center. As a defining feature of this generation is their open-mindedness, the more reach you will have for this demographic, the more likely your message will speak to them and sway their opinions. This will influence the final voter outcome.

For the U.S. election, Hispanics are a similarly important demographic, especially given that the Latino electorate has leaned toward the left in presidential elections for decades. What’s more, U.S. Hispanic Millennials will reportedly make up 44% of the 27.3 million eligible Hispanic voters expected to turn out for the upcoming election. This is a segment surpassing any other racial or ethnic group of U.S. voters, according to Bloomberg, citing Pew Research Center analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau data.  

Brightcom is specializing in both of these valuable demographics through its owned and operated assets:

  • Millennials – Through its partner group Literally Media, it delivers more than 20 million unique users, the majority of which are Millennials, who are responsible for more than 155 million quality page views.
  • Hispanics – It delivers 20 of the largest and busiest Latin American news portals, 100% owned and operated, and a consolidation of the media entities catering to the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets. This asset boasts close to 8 million U.S. Hispanic unique users per month, which translate to 120 million page views.

Programmatic Role in Shaping Elections

Successfully delivering your targeted message to the right voters across the right platforms is the essence of programmatic during election seasons.  Successfully targeting Millennials and Hispanics during the upcoming elections will add real value to advertisers this election cycle.  Overall, the variety of inventory offered – and the technology and dedicated people behind it – all contribute to the growing role that programmatic ad buying plays in helping to determine who will be the next leaders in the U.S. and the UK.   



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  1. 1
    Mayur S M

    Its altogether a new way of presenting yourself to people or voters…the whole world is moving in that direction(digital)…i think people are bored of same campaign methods and i think digital ways of presenting a leader in front of public/people will definitely bring results.Not just that, it will also provide better mathematical data of win or loss scenarios…which is again of value to assess geographical influences of these digital campaigns and results. All in all its a must go for method in elections….

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