Many advertisers today are well aware of the impact that political advertising has on television media rates. With limited inventory, supply and demand dictates the prices. And, not only do political candidates pay cash in advance, the TV stations do not need to share revenue with reps, and the candidates will pay what it takes to run. It's a goldmine for the stations for 45 days prior to primaries and national election day. And, now the political window has expanded because issue money is so-forthcoming.
Does this mean that smaller, local advertisers should 'stop advertising' during the political windows since rates are so high? Let me share my recent experience with you.
I work with a regional retailer who came to us in September, 2014, asking about television advertising. They were very concerned about sales entering into the holiday season. They do weekly sales and the advertising MUST RUN. In hindsight, the fact that we came in late into the season and had to pay higher rates was actually a blessing. With few exceptions, our advertising ran as ordered. It was the perfect setting . . . . the client was aggressive on advertised products and prices, the creative was fresh and exciting, the media schedule ran as ordered, and the client reported record sales! It was the right message at the right time!
Another retail client, concerned about higher rates and advertising clutter, pulled their fall advertising schedule and shifted dollars to hit harder in first quarter, 2015. This must have been the strategy for many advertisers, because what we have now experienced, TV inventory in first quarter has become tight in many markets and rates are climbing higher than expected.
Our client that 'went for it' in their best season certainly is the one that received the best return on their investment. My counsel to our clients - determine the best strategy for your business and implement regardless of what others are doing. If the message is right, then a good buyer can find the inventory, target the message and negotiate a good deal. It may not be the cheapest but it definitely delivers the needed audience!