Apparently getting impeached is a great time to run attack ads. Over the last two weeks, POTUS started running negative ads against Joe Biden, while defending his own position. If you haven’t watched and care to, it’ s here:
For all the froth on both sides, it’s strange this ad only has 30k views in the first week on YouTube
Facts: Here are the local markets where the Donald Trump ad is running and expected to run through Oct. 10, (according to data from Advertising Analytics, which aggregates actual insertion orders from local broadcast stations around the country)
The RNC is also running attack ads in select markers (Iowa, Michigan, Virgina, NH) using Trump, and a theme of “failed promises.” Here is a screen grab from Advertising Analytics’s Admo platform. This spending amounts to another $2.34 million
That’s not to say Dems have been particularly quiet either. Tom Steyer, for instance, was running what amounts to a TV-first campaign. Who needs rallies when you can just dominate the airwaves in Iowa? Whether that works or not is an entirely different question. Mayor Pete Buttigieg is also spending cash in his backyard. Though noticeably, the front of the pack — Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren — is at the bottom of the pack or not spending at all on TV yet. Digital of course is a different story where these folks are all spending $5 or more for a $1 donation to make a debate stage.
Broader ad truths worth considering:
The TV industrial complex is perplexed by politics these days. While the news shows no doubt generate higher audiences following the dramas of an unhinged POTUS, the networks battle to achieve balance (OR NOT) and struggle to find an approach that covers the issues without getting played by the voices aiming to manipulate the bleeds it leads ratings formula.
This happens because in ad-supported land, networks don’t have the luxury of going in great depths very often. Their attention challenged audiences after all need to be entertained or they will be gone. The one big exception is commercial-free C-SPAN, which can afford to show an entire event “gavel-to-gavel” — a format where soundbites and crowd size have more context and intellectuals can enrich without interference from Pfizer or talking Geckos.
Here are the brands that have spent over $2 million since Sept. 1 across CNN, Fox News and MSNBC:
Fact: Fox News has deeper audience exposure. See below, a chart from TV attribution company iSpot showing ad deliveries from Sept. 1 through today. While FOX News has an older audience, it also generates 51.8% of ad impressions compared to CNN and MSNBC.
That doesn’t mean Fox News has a higher audience in terms of unique people; just that it delivers more hours of advertising via its network. It is generally accepted that CNN outpaces Fox News in terms of ad dollars, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow hangs tough against anyone in prime time, and Fox News crushes the early bird audiences, which of course tend to be older and watch more.
Hillary Clinton appeared on Maddow last week, helping the MSNBC host pick up a nice ratings boost, but also keep audiences around for the entirety of the hour-long show — which discussed the potential for a Trump impeachment, among other topics . As you’ll notice above in the graph from Inscape, Maddow didn’t really lose eyeballs at commercials, and actually picked up viewers as the show went on.
Impeachment talk dissipating on social video?
Though there’s been plenty of impeachment talk around Trump over the last couple weeks, but according to video measurement company Tubular Labs, social video views have actually gone down since the initial inquiry announcement. Here’s a look at views, as measured by Tubular, across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube:
Impeachment has generated over 9,100 videos since Sept. 22, with over 410 million views. Though late night shows were five of the top seven producers of impeachment-related videos, Fox News’s YouTube channel was actually the top creator with over 17.4 million views on 52 different videos. MSNBC was next with 14.9 million, then Late Night with Seth Meyers, Saturday Night Live and the Daily Show’s Facebook page to round out the top five.
The top five individual videos were all from the late night comedy shows, led by the cold open impeachment skit that started SNL’s 45th season. Among the top 10 videos, just two were from non-late night pages: a rallying crying from GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and a CNN Newsroom segment about moderate Democrat congresswoman helping lead the impeachment charge.