Report suggests political media spending could reach $6.7 billion

Updated: Oct. 30, 2020 at 6:33 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - If you’re feeling like you’re being bombarded with political advertisements everywhere you turn, that’s because you are!

Despite the economic impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the election process, researchers with Advertising Analytics anticipate this year’s political spending will reach $6. 7 billion.

The projection is a 12 percent increase over last year’s anticipated political spending, according to Advertising Analytics' report, which says one reason for the increased spending may be a lack of face to face campaigning.

The report suggests this has driven candidates' budgets for advertising up higher than ever before, and it seems candidates may also be focusing more of that money on digital advertising, too.

According to New York University’s Ad Observatory, candidates are using millions of dollars to target South Carolina voters on Facebook.

Jaime Harrison leads the pack with $2.1 million dollars spent to show ads on the social media platform in the Palmetto State, and the second highest spender is President Donald Trump. The Ad Observatory’s data shows Trump has invested $1.2 million dollars Facebook ads geared towards gaining votes in South Carolina.

But whose support are these advertisements trying to sway?

Dr. Karyn Amira, an assistant professor of political science at the College of Charleston believes all of that money is being invested in a small population of voters.

“You are a specific type of person who might be a little bit less politically inclined. You don’t follow politics quite as much. You’re less partisan. You’re less ideological. That’s the type of person who can be persuaded,” Amira said. “We tend to think that advertising has very short lived, small effects in politics, especially at the national level. So, when you get hit with an ad, it may affect a certain type of person. Most people have predispositions that aren’t going to be moved by ads.”

Advertising Analytics report also says their projections show the majority of increased ad spending this political cycle has been put into traditional media like broadcast television, cable and radio. However, of their $6.7 billion estimated projection, $1.8 billion is expected to be spent on digital video, like Facebook and Google.

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