2022 Political Ad Spend Tops $6 Billion

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Wednesday, Sep 28
Two mugs with American flags on them with a microphone in the middle.

The political ad season is ramping up. According to Inside Radio, “AdImpact has tracked $6.15 billion of political ad spending so far and says 2022 has officially surpassed the 2020 cycle in non-presidential political ad spending.” BIA predicts radio will receive $428 million in political ad spend this year.

How will the increase in political ad spend impact SMI’s campaigns this election season? According to Senior Media Buyer Josh Knock, “Most of our clients are national advertisers, so if certain markets are finding themselves with limited inventory due to a highly contested political race, we pivot strategy and buy more cost-effective media in other markets.” 

Because our approach is impression-based and not ratings-based, this pivot strategy is effective even for geotargeted, localized campaigns, because within a geotarget, not all stations will be under the same political pressure. With a similar budget, we can deliver the same impressions on the target demo without battling Political noise. 

Although political advertisers typically get the lowest unit rate a station will offer in a predetermined daypart, SMI has tons of experience navigating the supply and demand issues that come with the Political season. “Servicing clients through a Political window is not for the faint of heart, for sure. If the conversations aren’t about inventory, they’re about LUR [lowest unit rate]. It can be tempting to give up, but we don’t,” said senior Media Buyer Pam Wolfgram. “We counter every response. Through the years, we’ve studied the rule books; we’ve perfected our methods and they work. The trick is knowing when to push back and with what tools, knowing where to go and what to ask for.”

“We don’t really miss a beat clearing cost effective low CPM [cost per thousand] schedules,” Knock said. “We have a proven history of strategically maneuvering through what can be a challenging time for our clients.”


Want to advertise on radio with an agency experienced in navigating seasonal advertising landscapes? Contact SMI today.

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