Election season is paid media season.

$7.8 billion—that’s what media experts are forecasting for political advertising spends on the 2022 midterms across the country. That includes local broadcast, local cable/satellite, radio, digital and OTT advertising.

That’s a lot of money, but for good reason… and media pricing in Arizona is going to act accordingly, whether we like it or not.

Like we recently saw with sports betting hitting the Arizona market last year, our media partners can see the writing on the wall and have already started increasing their pricing. In 2021 alone, TJA saw pricing for some out-of-home billboards jump 50-75% due to the demand the sports betting industry drove in such a short period of time.

While other media tactics also see an increase in demand during election seasons, television historically receives the majority of dollars, but advertising is an ecosystem—as political ads rise, tv-consistent advertisers temporarily move out of the space and into other media outlets.

Without getting too political, it’s important to know why our market is so hot. Arizona is a swing state for the U.S. Senate, which is currently split 50/50, so every seat counts in that national perspective. Additionally, our current governor isn’t eligible for re-election, meaning both Democrats and Republicans are really pushing their voters to the polls this cycle.

So what does all that mean for you? It’s a mess, to be sure, but here are a few media purchasing tactics you can keep in mind as election season comes and goes:

  1. Lock-in Over-The-Top TV placements now.
    These placements are sold more in a first-come-first-serve fashion, which means you can secure these buys before a political influx. Locking in those impressions sooner than later will pay off in the long run, even if you’re purchasing for future runs.
  2. Look for non-traditional opportunities with local stations.
    Most local stations have sponsorship opportunities, whether it’s for a station initiative (example: Stuff the Bus) or daytime programming that would allow you access to a different type of inventory (and audience). These kinds of media purchases allow you to ensure your brand is still getting out in front of your audience.
  3. Digital Advertising.
    Can’t secure a TV spot? Fret not; there are seemingly endless options to reach your audience through digital advertising. Digital video placements, digital display, sponsored content, homepage takeovers… the list goes on! Don’t feel handcuffed to television.

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Don’t wait too long to get your September–December buys placed! Once the election season is over, the flood gates are primed to open. Super Bowl LVII will be on the horizon, which is set to shake up the Greater Phoenix Area market once again when State Farm Stadium hosts the big game in Glendale in February 2023.

Worried about not getting your media buys placed in time (or that you’re going to spend too much)? Give us a call—we’d love to give you a hand.

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