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When The Elephants Fight, The Grass Gets Trampled

Written By: Philip Mitchell, Vice President, Ad Ops

Approaching the 2022 election - campaigns must brace themselves to face a herd of elephants from Silicon Valley, or risk getting trampled.

The months since the 2020 election have completely upended how digital campaigns will operate going forward. The digital playbook that campaigns have used for years is quickly becoming obsolete as we enter into the next generation of political advertising.

Privacy changes led by Apple and Google, external pressures on Facebook to moderate content, the continued decline of the cookie, and additional regulatory restrictions placed on political advertising will continue to push campaigns to find new and creative ways to ensure messages are heard.

Digital advertising was built on the ability to slice and dice the voter-file to micro-target in innumerable ways – today, relying on that to be the singular pillar of your digital strategy is a recipe for extinction.

Connected TV has risen to prominence as more and more households embrace streaming as a primary source of media consumption, but only a few of those platforms are ad-supported, and currently, the inventory is limited – particularly in down-ballot races. Programmatic advertising will grapple with the death of the cookie but still provides campaigns an ability to enable precise targeting and reach the electorate at scale. Facebook – and some smaller social channels – can serve as key areas for voter engagement. The strength and weakness of each of these channels will be dependent on the campaign, the candidate, the budget, and the target audience.

The lesson here is that even amid significant obstacles, digital remains paramount in reaching voters, but effectiveness is going to be measured in new ways, defined by meeting voters in your campaign where they are. An effective campaign brings a holistic, screen agnostic, approach to the media buying strategy. That is the only way to stay ahead of the herd.



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