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Addressable media 'rocket' in elections

News, 27 January 2016

PALM DESERT, CA: As US presidential candidates look for new ways to identify and engage voters, the new chairman of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) predicts that investments in addressable media will "rocket" from $500m in the last campaign cycle to $1bn in 2016.

In her first address to the organisation she now chairs, Lauren Wiener, Tremor Video President/Buyer Platforms, said: "This year, the voter file will meet the set-top box, and addressable TV will crack wide open as campaigns battle to reach high-priority voters at the household level." (For more, read Warc's exclusive report: Presidential politics collide with digital media at IAB.)

In addition, the power of addressable broadcast media "means instead of red states and blue states, campaigns will be targeting red TVs and blue TVs," she added.

David Axelrod, the campaign consultant who helped President Barack Obama to victories in 2008 and 2012, agreed with Weiner.

"I guarantee that both the Sanders and Clinton campaigns have profiles of every voter in the state of Iowa, have assigned scores to them," the director of the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics told the IAB assembly. "And they are going at them both through digital and television buys in a very precise way."

Axelrod also said he believed that "the combined spending of campaigns and third-party groups will be in the $5bn to $6bn range. And about 20% of that will go to digital."

According to a new IAB study, "The Race for the White House 2016: Registered Voters and Media and Information During the Primaries", digital media has reached parity with TV as a primary information source about presidential candidates (61% for both digital and TV) and political issues (67% for digital vs. 69% for TV) among registered U.S. voters.

According to the IAB, "More than a third (35%) of registered voters say digital will be their most important method for getting candidate information during this election season.

"These U.S. voters are more likely to be younger (35% vs. 23% total), to take action after seeing an online political ad (71% vs. 53% total), stream the debates (30% vs. 20% total), and to vote in the primaries (90% vs. 85% total)."

What's more, 67% of Hispanic voters and 60% of African-American voters visit political sites on a mobile device as opposed to 49% of voters overall. And a full 87% of Hispanic voters say they take action after viewing a candidate's digital or mobile ad.

Data sourced from Warc