Political Ad Spending Heats Up

Political Ad Spending Heats Up

Over a year remains before the US presidential election on November 5, 2024, yet the political advertising cycle is already heating up. By August, events like the Republican presidential primary debate and candidates’ appearances at the Iowa State Fair had spiked national TV ad spending to $3.7 million, according to estimates from Entertainment Data Oracle (EDO) Ad EnGage. That included 952 commercial airings garnering over 975 million impressions.

Experts at media and consultancy group Madison and Wall say political ad spending will hit $17 billion by Election Day, a marked increase from the $14 billion dedicated to ads during the 2020 US presidential cycle, which at the time was the costliest to date. AdImpact reports candidates had already spent $70 million on political heading into the second half of 2023—with the bulk of funds coming from Republicans hoping to win the GOP nomination and defeat President Joe Biden’s reelection bid.

Early ad buys focused on Iowa and New Hampshire, which are important early-voting battlegrounds. The Republican Iowa caucus is scheduled for January 15, while New Hampshire is the first state to hold its primary election in February. GOP candidates had invested $16.6 million and $10.3 million in those states, respectively, by early July. 

How do the bulk of ad dollars break down? Advertising intelligence company Vivvix CMAG projects this allocation of funds:

  • Broadcast TV (local/network): $5 billion ($4.5 billion in 2020) 
  • Connected TV/streaming: $1.8 billion (about $1 billion in 2022) 
  • Google/Facebook: $1.6 billion ($1.2 billion in 2022) 
  • Cable/satellite (local/network): $1.5 billion ($1.5 billion in 2020) 

Over $22 million had already been spent on national cable TV spots by early July, according to AdImpact, with 73% of those funds going toward pro-Trump messaging and 23% to pro-DeSantis ads. The Biden campaign is also keeping busy, releasing ads targeting battleground states like, “Got to Work,” that aired during the NFL opening game on September 5. It’s part of a bigger $25 million campaign focusing on the president’s economic achievements and continued fiscal agenda.

As candidates vie for the White House, ads will be hard to miss across digital, linear and social platforms. Whether you’re a marketer or an agency trying to expand your reach among voters, get in touch with us to learn why 93 of the top 100 brands rely on Extreme Reach for omnichannel campaigns worldwide.