A tidal wave of election year advertising is rumbling towards us, and will reach a fever pitch during the spring and summer of 2016. As Presidential candidates battle it out months ahead of the November 6th elections, the question becomes, how do business owners and marketers rise above the clutter and penetrate the minds of consumers?
How exactly do you cut through the droves of messages (both paid and unpaid) and content chock full of misleading half-truths? Have a plan and plan early. Leading up to the 2016 General Election, TV will belong to the candidates, sponsors, and super PACs that support them. These candidates also get the benefit of the lowest unit rates (LURs) made available on any given network. So that means that TV partners, generally a bit more generous in a non-election year, will be looking to establish the most advantageous LUR’s possible. Communicate with your media partners as early as possible to establish your budgets and before inventories get tight and rates increase.
For a candidate, you might say that the “zero of moment of truth” is when a voter is inside of the voter booth making that final decision. For business owners, this occurs daily, as customers make decisions based on many events that affect their lives. This is where content marketing allows a business or individual to stand apart, and in some cases, control the conversation regarding a product or service. Business owners should freely and willingly provide customers with as much info as possible, allowing them to make an informed buying decision. At the end of the day, consumers will look for an authority in the field that remains top of mind and has proven to be a trusted resource.
Beware of the trickle down! Where will those TV dollars go when TV stations are oversold? Radio, traditional print (magazines and newspapers), direct mail, coupons, etc. All advertising mediums should expect to see an increase of advertiser participation, which means increased competition and reduced visibility for your company’s message. Prepare now to lock in a premium position, request exclusivity, grab that low contract rate in December and beyond in order to avoid exclusion come early spring.
Give consumers what they want. An air of suspicion and expectations of broken promises already cloud the minds of many consumers during an election year. This is why it’s even more important than ever to deliver clear and direct messaging that allows customers to get exactly the product or service they desire.
Make it beautiful. The impact of beautifully designed ads and content cannot be overstated. There is nothing pretty about an election year. Candidates always go negative, leaving advertisers with the perfect opportunity to rise above the mudsling with beautiful and attractive messaging. “You get what you pay for,” were never truer spoken words in this instance. Professionally and artfully crafted design work increases your return on investment (ROI).
5 Things to remember:
- It's important to start laying out a plan now for how you'll rise above the added noise and clutter of 2016's most like to be contentious presidential election.
- Content marketing is on the rise and more important than ever. Blast the web with as much relevant content as possible, so that during the zero moment of truth when a consumer makes a buying decision your message will be top of mind.
- Media companies will be flooded with advertising by private interests and super PACs looking to sway public opinion. Their pockets are deep, and your media partners won't be as willing to negotiate on rates. Lay your media buys in now.
- Keep everything simple; the noise in 2016 will be deafening. Consumers will appreciate a clear, concise message that allows them to get straight to the point of finding what they are looking for to secure your services.
- Whether you’re thinking about radio, TV, print or web...keep it beautiful. Elections are known to get ugly. Focus on beautiful, industry leading design, and consumers will see an oasis away from the unsightliness that can accompany political campaigns.
Nathaniel Bradley, along with Tammy Howard, are the Co-owner and President of 5 Mile Media, a full-service advertising agency located in Pasadena, Ca. For more information about advertising and design, please visit fivemm.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.