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Live in Five: Political Advertisers Achieve Instant Scale with Programmatic Offering

Zach Pucci, Agency & Brand Partnerships

November 29, 2021 | 4 min read

With less than a year to go until the 2022 midterm elections, political candidates are ramping up their outreach to win over undecided voters.

To capture key audiences, political campaigns are strategically leveraging digital platforms to reach Americans where they are tuned in: their internet-connected TVs, mobile phones, and computers. Political advertisers are projected to spend $1.2 billion on CTV and OTT in the 2022 midterm elections and mobile is projected to replace direct mail as the top local media ad platform next year.

While political buyers are eager to make a digital play, there are key considerations that are necessary for this cohort of advertisers. To meet the moment, Magnite leveraged our experience from the 2020 cycle to learn what was most important to buyers. Here’s what we uncovered.

The Top Four Needs of Political Advertisers

In 2020, what truly moved the needle for our buyers’ campaigns were: 

SCALE — the ability to get a campaign message up and running across premium platforms with maximum efficiency.

SPEED the capacity to make a campaign go live in a matter of minutes.

GEO — location-targeting and the ability to go beyond DMAs to reach election locales and swing regions. 

AUDIENCE — access to addressable audiences, particularly persuadable voters.

The major pain points that were consistent across the board involved efficiency and scale. After receiving ad spend, buyers needed to be able to go live within minutes to make the most of their short flights and fluctuating budgets.

Instead of spending time calling up individual media owners to negotiate deals and monitoring the trading of each ad campaign, buyers needed the ability to achieve scale quickly, bringing programmatic front-and-center.

Unlocking Voter Audiences

By understanding the most important needs of political advertisers, we developed a strategy based on three tenets: simplicity, ease of use, and scale.

The result is a one-stop shop for political marketers looking to reach voters instantly across channels.

As ease of activation is a necessity for political buyers, Magnite’s political offering allows them to circumvent negotiating specific deals with scores of publishers. Instead, they’re able to make one call to get all the inventory they need to make an immediate impact. 

Political ads are time-sensitive. With campaign goals changing overnight, parties may need to spend large sums within 24-to-48 hours to get an urgent message out. 

To this end, we give buyers the flexibility to optimize their campaigns on the fly and have their ads up and running within minutes. For publishers that require creative approval, our client service team handles approvals directly with the publishers so buyers don’t have to.

Additionally, via Magnite’s addressable offering, we can create curated Deal IDs that only serve ads to buyers’ target audiences, so no impression goes wasted. 

Effective election campaigns hit the right people in the right places. Here, Magnite’s geo-targeting goes beyond the DMA model, enabling advertisers to reach audiences in specific district and state voting areas. 

Your Deciding Vote

As the largest independent omnichannel sell-side advertising platform in the industry, Magnite has access to an unparalleled range of programmatic inventory across channels, premium publisher relationships, and best-in-class technology to power results. 

Elections can be lost and won by the thinnest of margins. Having the targeting tools of programmatic and the ability to quickly launch and optimize campaigns in-flight is critical. As we rapidly head into election season, we can help political marketers drive results at the ballot box.

If you like to plan in advance, we can curate always-on deals ahead of the election cycle. Reversely, if you’re down to the wire and need results, it only takes one call to go live. In a neck-and-neck race, our programmatic pipes could have the power to win you your deciding vote. 

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