Kantar Media, which tracks political advertising, says about $2.6 billion was spent on the 2008 general election—up from $1.7 billion four years earlier In January. Remember how obnoxious it got? This year the ad spending will likely increase again especially since the Supreme Court removed almost all limits on corporate political giving. One wonders what we are in for in the coming months. For one thing there will be no bargains for media buyers. I predict so much ad spending for political ads that candidates will be forced to spread their money around from radio, cable television, direct mail, newspaper and TV. This is one segment of private business that is in for a windfall.
My next prediction is candidates will remember the Obama social media campaign and dive in headfirst. The only thing is Obama had celebrity appeal that made people excited to actually be his friend and network online with him. A candidate flub-up in social marketing may end up being worse than goofing up a question at a press conference, or performing poorly at a debate. We did just witness the backfire when Palin tweeted “no mosque at ground zero”. I like the fact that you could join in or opt out of online campaigns. It will be interesting come September when the barrage starts.
My advice is to get your buys in now if you’re planning a fall campaign, but be prepared. The audience has many ways of tuning you out. While media will get some well deserved advertising revenue, our poor retailers trying to make a last ditch effort to end the year in the black, will get buried in the clutter or end up on the cutting floor. My only hope is that after the election the retail climate might have more optimism about the future of doing business in this country.