Political – 2008, 2012, and 2016 – What should we do?!

by Caitlin Zarrella | March 31, 2016

US Flag & Statue of Liberty

It’s that time again, election time. With new presidential candidates comes new presidential campaigns. And with new presidential campaigns comes a whole bunch of money spent on political commercials. This year it is expected presidential ad spending will reach or exceed $11.4B, with the bulk of that being spent on TV advertising.

To put this into perspective, in 2012, political spend reached $6B. In 2008, a mere $2.6B was spent on political ads. This is a 90% increase from the last presidential election. This prompted us to take a dive back into how political spend affects your calls. What should you do the months and weeks leading up to this crazy election time? Come off air? Spend more money? Decrease my budget? So many options with so many possible outcomes.

Well, in order to find the answer to these questions, we looked into the actual numbers. Hard evidence to show us what to do in this crazy time of pre-emption, market saturation, and lost-in-the-shuffle messaging. Our conclusion? Stay the course. In 2008 and 2012, our numbers proved that firms that held steady through the political season actually saw a slight increase in their call volume for the quarter.

On the flip side, those who came off air had a struggle to bring their call volume up after the madness of political ended.


As with every day, month, and year, your media buyer will be working extremely hard to get your spots cleared during this time. However, don’t expect us to go up on your rates just to get clearance. We’re never going to spend money in a program that doesn’t work, and we’re not going to compromise the great value we negotiate each year for your spots. We will stick to our processes, hold our teams accountable, and push forward in this political race to come out stronger than ever.