Political ads. Just the sound of these two words tends to make many Americans cringe.
Why is this the case?
With Election Day right around the corner, we’re once again getting bombarded with these ads, and they seem to be everywhere – on billboards, TV, radio stations, our email inboxes, social media pages, our mobile devices and even in our ‘snail’ mailboxes!
Believe it or not, while many people say they despise them, studies have shown that political ads still hold the power to communicate, persuade, attack and even entertain to influence voters.
And like advertisers, politicians today increasingly rely on this style of marketing to “sell” themselves — their beliefs, image, political agenda and values — to voters leading up to election time.
Smart political campaign leaders understand that these frequently viewed ads can be powerful and persuasive when it comes to ultimately influencing voters. As a result, many campaign teams are dedicating enormous portions of their budgets to produce ads where their target audience members will be sure to see them (whether they want to or not!).
The good, the bad (and the ugly)
Have you ever truly contemplated the messages conveyed in political ads? Many of these ads either aim to deliver positive or negative messages. For example, the purpose of a positive political ad may be to create support for a candidate by emphasizing his or her accomplishments, with the intention of making viewers feel good about the candidate.
On the other hand, negative ads typically use alarming statistics and jaw-dropping visuals to make the candidate’s opponent appear practically incompetent. The main purpose of a negative ad is to produce scare tactics, conveying the potential negative outcomes should the opponent is elected.
What’s the best medium?
Which type of political advertising a campaign chooses depends largely on their candidate’s personal strategic objectives, targets, and, of course, budget.
Typically, most campaigns utilize a combination of various political advertising to reach their target audience. Which mediums you use, and in what quantity, is up to you and your team, and should be based on the following: the demographic you are trying to reach; and, how much money you have in your budget.
Remember: Political ads can target general or very specific audiences, and they can be effective or ineffective in numerous ways. Most importantly, political ads can keep your campaign at the top of voters’ minds, reinforcing those messages that your candidate is emphasizing on the campaign trail.
Lincoln Strategy Group’s team of experts can recommend the best advertising vehicles, based on campaign type and budget, for your organization.