Let’s *handclap emoji* Talk *handclap emoji* Politics! *handclap emoji*

…said no one ever. Alas, this article will not discuss political swing, but instead focus on the economics of campaign finance and the large opportunity of running said campaign on YouTube.

There will be a massive election in just under 500 days (the 2020 Presidential Election) but the race is already well underway. There are 24 Democrats and 2 Republicans currently announced as candidates for the presidency; that’s 26 different campaigns, 26 different strategies, 26 opportunities to find new, undecided voters with growing technologies.

According to MediaPost the ad spend for the 2020 election will be $10 billion, with digital media bringing in 30% of that total. This represents double its share from 2016. This trend aligns to the reporting that only about half of millennials subscribe to traditional cable, the rest belonging to the ‘cord cutter’ category. This presents advertisers with a golden opportunity to target voters with a contextually relevant ad buy on YouTube.

The first round of Democratic primary debates kicked off this week. With an estimated 20-30 million viewers over the two nights, the events are certainly receiving a lot of attention. At the same time, a politician not on the stage bought in BIG on YouTube. According to Vox, POTUS spent up to a million dollars on a YouTube homepage ad buy to counteract the visibility his competitors would receive in the TV spotlight. And, at least in theory, it worked. The President’s ad campaign is projected to be reaching more than double the audience of the actual debates.

The power of YouTube is undeniable. Savvy campaign strategists will turn to the medium to reach voters online and through YouTube on CTV. But even more savvy campaign strategists will utilize tools like VuePlanner® when doing so. Here are some ways VuePlanner® could be applied to ensure that $10 billion is spent as efficiently as possible:

  • Competitor Conquesting: President Trump’s YouTube ad buy may have effectively delivered a large quantity of views, but a more strategic effort would have ensured those views were from voters that would actually be influenced by his ads. In sending his message out to any and all YouTube users, a lot of dollars were surely wasted. With VuePlanner®, candidate ads can be targeted to run against content featuring their opponents. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. Voters unfamiliar with a candidate will hop on the internet to learn more. It’s the right place, at the right time, to educate.
  • Campaign Issues Content Targeting: Just as 2020 voters will be researching the candidates, they will also be researching the issues that impact them the most. Voters want to be sure that they choose a leader who will focus on their causes, concerns, and policies. Climate change is a great example. Awareness around the issue is growing by the day and it has never been as front-and-center during an election as it is with the 2020 race. It’s a top issue for almost every one of the candidates—with one even focusing his entire campaign around it. YouTube has been a valuable forum for those seeking more information on climate change and politicians with a clear message can use contextually relevant targeting to direct it to those who care the most.
  • Ensuring Brand Suitability: For anyone in the public eye, branding is key. Nothing can be more damaging than association with something that goes against specific positioning, values, causes, beliefs… Candidates need to be sure that their ads only appear against content that aligns to their brand. With VuePlanner®’s real-time, pre-bid transparency, clients get visibility—down to the individual video URL—of the content their ad will be shown against. It’s advertising that protects and enhances brand equity, when the stakes are highest.
  • Geo-Targeting to Battle-Ground States: While of course every vote counts, candidates know that winning in specific states significantly increases their chances of victory. Working with the Giant Media team to build a holistic strategy that targets ads to be delivered to viewers/voters in specific geographic areas helps optimize spend by prioritizing reach to those living in “must-win” areas.

Time will tell (the next 500 days worth of time at least) how strategies like the above are used by those in the race for 2020. We will certainly be seeing a lot more from each of the candidates–and those who choose the right context to be seen in will get a boost in rising to the top.

Moving beyond politics, any brand can apply the conquesting, content targeting, suitability and geo-targeting capabilities of VuePlanner® to enhance their video advertising campaigns and drive results.  Reach out to Giant Media today to get started.