WSJ: Cable Attracts Campaign Dollars

Excellent article, and it hits on my current favorite theme, microtargeting. Subscription only, alas. Some critical quotes:

“Though most political ad dollars traditionally are spent after Labor Day, tight primaries and early spending on House, Senate and gubernatorial races have pushed local TV-ad spending above $311 million as of mid-August, up 45% from the same point in 2004 and more than three times as much as in 2002…”

“With cable and radio, you can more precisely target a segment than broadcast television. The audience is more fragmented in cable and radio. You can pick out the fragments you want,” says Will Feltus, senior vice president for research and planning at National Media, a Washington firm that bought ads for President Bush’s 2004 campaign…”

“As of last week, ‘we’re tracking 70% ahead of where we were in 2004,’ says Ed Dunbar, vice president of corporate integration at Comcast’s Spotlight national advertising-sales division…”

“The growing interest isn’t based on more viewers watching cable at the expense of broadcast TV, but the ability of campaigns to better target demographic groups…”

Interestingly, the article says that the 2004 Bush campaign started advertising on cable because they found that Republican voters were disproportionately likely to be cable viewers, while Democrats were more likely to watch broadcast television, but that cable ads have turned out to be a very efficient way to microtarget audiences. Now, where have we heard that last part before?


Written by
Colin Delany
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