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LOOMIS media director Aimee Herron has compiled research and forecast information from the most respected industry sources, and shares it here along with the agency’s recommendations for advertisers.
NATIONAL POLITICAL FORECAST 2012
White House and congressional candidates’ spending in advertising are projected to be the most expensive in history.
· $4 billion – up from $3.2 billion
Bulk of spending will be in broadcast with some projected in cable and Internet.
· All U.S. broadcasters will benefit from spending on political ads in 2012 but will likely most affect the stations that saw the biggest percentage increases in total revenues from political ads in 2010.
President Barack Obama will not likely be challenged within his own party for the Democratic nomination in 2012. There is a long list of Republican hopefuls who will be running for president in 2012. Some candidates started to formally announce in June and spending on the GOP side began in early 3Q ’11 in the early primary states, Iowa and New Hampshire.
TEXAS POLITICAL FORECAST 2010
The political window starts Jan. 21, 2012, for the primary on March 6, and Sept. 7, or 60 days prior to the general election on Nov. 6, 2012.
Other races include U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress and State Railroad Commission, as well as party and issue money.
The Senate race should generate additional dollars, especially during the primaries. Stations are already seeing requests for rates for those running in the Republican primary. In the Senate, Kay Bailey Hutchinson is retiring, so there will be a healthy battle for her seat. Texas is adding four new seats due to redistricting.
2012 TEXAS POLITICAL DATES
1/21/2012 Political window opens for March primary election
3/6/2012 Primary election day
4/10/2012 Primary election runoff day
9/7/2012 Political window opens for general election
11/6/2012 General election day
Quarter 1 will likely be affected the most during the run-up to the March primary election. Most of the activity is expected to come from the Republican presidential primary race. Quarters 3 and 4 spending levels will largely be determined by the Republican nominee. While not expected to be as high as first quarter levels, political activity in the latter part of the year will be significant.
· 1Q activity will have the primary in March resulting in heavier activity in mid-January and February
· 2Q activity could include a run-off in April and May
· 3Q activity will include the Summer Olympics 7/27–8/12
· 4Q will have heavy activity in late September and October to prepare for the election on 11/6/12
Early morning news, evening news, prime and late news will be hit the heaviest by candidate spending.
The Austin market is expected to be hit heavily, as it is a democratic leaning city. Although political spending by market is uncertain at this point, projected spending is anywhere from $11 million in DFW to $3.5 million in El Paso.
EIGHT TIPS FROM LOOMIS
1. Watch for Cost Per Point increases up to +10% depending on day part and quarter.
2. A maximum of 150–200 total TRPs per week will be achievable during peak political periods.
3. Consider shift of TRP weight levels from news to other day parts.
4. Makegood policies should include opening up other day parts to ensure spots will run.
5. Allow for makegood weight to be made up in “off weeks.”
6. Consider shift of some dollars to radio, cable and online.
7. Be sure annual buys are placed by 12/31/2011 in order to secure inventory.
8. Communicate to station reps the importance of sending makegoods prior to spots missed in order to keep scheduled weight.
Aimee Herron is media director at LOOMIS. She is an expert in media strategy and planning, and has experience in retail, restaurant, automotive and consumer packaged goods.
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