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State of the Screens

Ad spending for the 2018 midterms reaches nearly $3 billion

By November 6, 2018No Comments

Nearly $3B has been spent on TV/radio advertising in the 2018 House, Senate and gubernatorial elections according to Advertising Analytics.

Big growth: That is more than double the $1.5B that was spent on these same elections in 2014!

TV/radio spending by party (% of total):
1)
Democrat — $1.5B (52%)
2) Republican — $1.3B (48%)
3) Independent — $6M (0.2%)

Top 3 most expensive races:
1)
FL-GOV- $181M
2) FL-SEN — $173M
3) IL-GOV — $128M

Top 3 markets for ad spending:
1)
Orlando/Daytona Beach/Melbourne- $110M
2) Las Vegas — $103M
3) Los Angeles — $101M

Top 3 outside groups for ad spending:
1) Congressional Leadership Fund (R) — $110M
2) Senate Majority PAC (D) — $105M
3) DCCC (D) — $81M

Top 3 Senate races for ad spending:
1) FL-SEN — $173M
2) MO-SEN — $94M
3) IN-SEN — $91M

Top 3 House races for ad spending:
1) PA-01 — $24M
2) WA-08 — $23M
3) CA-48 — $22M

Top 3 gubernatorial races for ad spending:
1) FL-GOV — $181M
2) IL-GOV — $128M
3) OH-GOV — $63M

Digital (all types) share of political ad spend according to the Center for Responsive Politics:
1)
2014–1%
2)
2018–22%

Flashback #1: Midterm TV spending to rival last presidential election

2018 spend share according to Kantar CMAG:
1) Local broadcast — 62%
2)
Local cable — 22%
3)
Digital (all types) — 16%

2018 spending growth compared to 2014:
1)
Digital (all types) — ↑ 140%
2)
Local cable — ↑ 42%
3)
Local broadcast — ↑ 14%
4)
Total — ↑ 31%

Flashback #2: Midterms To Set Ad Spending Record, New Guerrilla Tactics Too

Volume of ads by cycle:
1)
2014–2.3M
2)
2018–3.7M (↑ 59%)

More #1: Why TV still totally dominates when it comes to political advertising

More #2: Beto O’Rourke’s Huge Facebook Bet

More #3: Bully Pulpit Interactive: The Digital Landscape, pt. 2

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.

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