Political Advertising in 2022: Leveraging Segments that Matter to Voters

2022’s upcoming mid-term elections and the programmatic advertising campaigns that will deploy all over the United States inspired this conversation. David Finklestein, Co-Founder and CEO of BDEX, and Fariba Zamaniyan, VP of data and monetization at TiVo, share their thoughts on the use of data in political advertising and advice for those who use political data today.

Does a lack of data exist in political advertising right now?

A tremendous amount of data goes into planning, executing, and delivering advertising for candidates at all levels of government. Besides solely using this immense amount of data to better target the right audience, candidates must consider how to use it and the strategy within their approach. For example, going back to Obama’s Presidency, his campaign perfected the process of geographical and behavioral targeting. These two types of targeting put his messaging in front of the right audience: swing voters. With the digital capabilities at our fingertips today like video targeting, in this upcoming mid-term election, data will be key. Moreover, data helps to understand voter registration patterns, key demographics, and more.

How do candidates turn voters off from voting? What is the role of digital video?

The ultimate goal of political advertising is to get people to go out and vote for a candidate. So, data plays an extremely important role here. Candidates should leverage the data that’s available to them to better understand what people want to hear. Why? Voters care about certain issues and want to see candidates supporting them. Furthermore, if voters are only exposed to slander going back and forth between candidates, they’ll more likely be turned off from voting for them. In the coming elections, the issues ought to be the focus to keep voters voting.

To keep voters from turning away, candidates can do a better job at messaging online and with connected TV (CTV). Both channels will increase the chances of reaching the right audiences that want to hear the messages on the issues they care about. Candidates can cater to audiences outside of social where things can get more slanderous. People are influenced by opinions that aren’t just from candidates in their ads, but by the commentary from everyone else.

Adding on, candidates can leverage digital video opportunities to optimize the impact of their traditional TV campaigns. TiVo, with BDEX, brings linear TV data that is deterministic, and first-party data into the digital ecosystem. The audience of BDEX’s device graph is leveraged in addition to artificial intelligence. This enables effective connecting of the dots of voter’s household footprints to their digital selves. Candidates can then reach who they are aiming to reach.

What are some pieces of advice for programmatic media buyers who are navigating through the political advertising space today?

For starters, programmatic advertisers absolutely must leverage the technology that exists today that did not exist in prior elections. There’s opportunity in the coming elections to do things that were never possible before with respect to targeting. In doing so, targeting the correct people, with the correct issues, based on the correct data makes for a more effective campaign moving forward. Breaking the mold of traditional ways of reaching consumers helps programmatic media buyers navigating through the political ad space today. It can be risky; however, there’s enough expertise and practice in these newer channels that reach voters.