Four Ways Political Advertisers Should Be Using Addressable TV Advertising in 2024

Political advertisers face a range of challenges and opportunities in the upcoming elections. As consumers continue to fragment their viewing across screens, concerns about fraud, transparency, and accurate attribution abound, making it harder to reach—and measure the reach of—the voters needed to secure a win.

Today, rather than dedicating an entire TV budget to a broad approach, political advertisers are embracing new approaches to reaching voters through addressable TV advertising.

No longer constrained by basic targeting by daypart or gender, advertisers are turning to addressable advertising to more precisely target and reach voting households across screens. This opens up the ability to reach different audience segments with different creative, and better measure overall a campaign’s effectiveness—all with greater transparency and automation than traditional TV.

Addressable advertising presents opportunities for political advertisers to reach their audiences in new ways in 2024. But do they know how to best use it?

Here are a few ideas.

1. Unify Advertising Across Linear and Streaming

The definition of “TV” has blurred, often including streaming as well as traditional linear. Video on demand (“VOD”), connected TV (“CTV”), mobile, and linear viewing create a fragmented landscape for advertising, and approaching each buy as a separate strategy makes it impossible to truly measure the impact of advertising.

For many years, traditional approaches to buying required separate transactions for streaming and linear plans. But today, addressable advertising aggregates data insights across screens, making it possible for candidates to reach their audiences across VOD, CTV, mobile, and linear—all through a single buy. What’s more, an addressable advertising approach allows advertisers to measure the reach and impact of their advertising in a unified manner—allowing them to optimize their approach as polls change or messaging is updated.

2. Target Your Specific Voter (or Non-voter!) Audience

When political advertisers buy inventory, they generally come to the table knowing who they want to reach. In the 2020 elections, many political advertisers targeted audiences based on geography or lifestyle segments; but, with addressable advertising and the growth of reliable data insights, reaching a specific audience is easier than ever.

As a result, campaigns can confidently identify, target, and reach particular audience segments such as Republicans, Democrats, non-voters, or voters with different perspectives on varied political issues, and can even target audience segments based on the campaign’s first-party data. This allows political advertisers to reach their audiences more deliberately with messaging most relevant to that group.

3. Complement a Broader TV Buy

Broad messaging about a candidate, often achieved through linear TV buys, is still an important tactic for building name recognition and reaching a wide swath of voters. But today, since TV is no longer relegated just to the top of the advertising funnel, candidates can complement broad messaging with addressable advertising.

A candidate might rely on the frequency capping capabilities of addressable advertising to limit or extend the reach of a particular message. For instance, candidates can help their messages reach harder-to-reach light TV viewing audience by capping ad exposure to heavy-viewing TV audiences, or they can cap ad exposure to certain audiences while targeting undecided voting audiences more often to complement TV messaging.

4. Improve Transparency and Accountability

In advertising, targeting only works if the data connection is accurate; of course, accuracy becomes more important the smaller—or more precise—your audience is. For this reason, it’s important that political advertisers work with partners that can ensure both transparency and accountability for the data match process.

Addressable advertising, unlike traditional TV or even non-addressable CTV advertising, requires a 1:1 match to the available audience pool. Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs) can match audiences to more accurate and verifiable identifiers given their connection with their customers’ homes; this results in much higher match rates than targeting through traditional methods such as digital and CTV, which may use blind IP addresses or email addresses.

Addressable advertising also provides ongoing transparency and reporting, including how many households have been reached, at what frequency, and on what device. With this information, political advertisers can test different audience segments against different creative messages to better measure their overall campaign effectiveness and learn from these findings over the life of the campaign.

2024 promises to be a political year like no other, and having strong, relevant, and timely messaging in market will be more important than ever before. Addressable advertising provides the ability to reach a strategic audience of voters across TV screens while eliminating waste, managing frequency, and building incremental reach – all while delivering measurable results. In 2024, that’s a win for political advertisers.

To learn more about how addressable TV advertising can be used for political advertisers this year, read the Ultimate Guide to Reaching Voters or contact us.