January 4, 2024

Elect to Advertise: The Impact of Media Pricing on Your Brands’ Election Season Success

Elect to Advertise: The Impact of Media Pricing on Your Brands' Election Season Success

By: Lauren Oliver & Ryan Clark

Following a critical mayoral election here in Charleston, South Carolina, we wanted to share a few best practices as we prepare for a very wild election season for American media. 

Election season in the United States is a time of heightened political engagement, fervent discussions, lost friendships, breakups and, most importantly, intense media coverage. It’s a period when the entire nation tunes in to follow the campaigns, debates, election news and a near constant stream of extremist social posts from the left and right fringes courtesy of once-cool aunts and uncles. 

With the assistance and advancement of AI in media and an unprecedented ad spend, the coming 2024 election season is going to be unlike any the US has seen before. According to AdImpact, the 2023/24 election cycle spend will top “$10.2 billion across broadcast, cable, radio, satellite, digital and CTV—with half of that spending, $5.1 billion, going to local TV stations.” For advertisers and media professionals, this election season will present unique challenges and incredible opportunities. One of the key metrics closely monitored during this time is CPM, which measures the cost of reaching 1,000 impressions.

The US election season, which typically spans several months leading up to the final vote on November 5th, significantly impacts CPMs in the media industry. This relationship is multifaceted, with various factors influencing the cost of advertising during this period. Below are a few of the largest impacts election season has on advertisers.

Increased Demand

As mentioned above, the most noticeable effect of election season on CPMs is the surge in demand for advertising space. Political campaigns, interest groups, and political action committees (PACs) increase their ad spending, leading to higher competition for ad inventory. As demand increases, so do CPMs.

Ad Clutter

During election season, the media landscape becomes saturated with political ads. This ad clutter can make it more challenging for non-political advertisers to gain consumer attention, thus impacting their CPMs. The increased noise in the ad space can reduce the effectiveness of advertising campaigns.

Audience Behavior

Consumer behavior during election season can also affect CPMs. Audiences are more politically engaged and are actively seeking information about candidates and issues. This change in user behavior can influence ad performance and the cost of reaching these highly engaged users

At Digital Ignite, we’ve successfully navigated several intense election seasons, maximizing our clients’ targeting and reach, while successfully managing budgets in the face of increasing CPMs leading up to election day. If you or your clients are planning a media spend during the 2024 political season here are a few tips to avoid getting caught in the election crossfire:

Early Planning and Budget Allocation

Begin planning and allocating budgets well in advance of the election season. Early preparation can secure better advertising placements at more competitive rates for traditional media placements

Segmentation and Personalization

Leverage audience segmentation and personalization to ensure your messages are highly relevant to specific consumer groups. Tailor your ads to meet the distinct needs and preferences of different segments.

Quality Over Quantity

Instead of bombarding consumers with excessive ads, focus on creating high-quality content and choosing the most effective ad placements. Prioritize user experience and engagement over sheer quantity.

Strategic Timing

Make use of ad scheduling to target consumers at times when they are most active and receptive. Special promotions, flash sales, and product launches should be well-timed to maximize impact.

Diverse Ad Formats

Consider using a variety of ad formats, including video, interactive content, and immersive experiences. Unique and creative formats can set your ads apart from the election ad noise/clutter.

Partnerships and Influencers

Collaborate with relevant influencers and partners to tap into their established audiences. Influencers can provide authentic endorsements that cut through the noise.

User-Generated Content

Encourage user-generated content and reviews to showcase your brand’s community and build trust among potential customers. Highlight authentic experiences and recommendations.


Employ geotargeting to focus your ads on specific geographic regions where you have a strong customer base or potential for growth. Avoid oversaturating less relevant areas and battleground areas where media will be at a premium price

Regular Monitoring and Adaptation

Continuously monitor campaign performance and be ready to make real-time adjustments to respond to changing market conditions and consumer behavior.

Cross-Channel Integration

Integrate your advertising efforts across multiple channels, including social media, email marketing, content marketing, and influencer campaigns. A cohesive cross-channel strategy can reinforce your message.

Heightened Focus on Brand Safety

Establish clear guidelines and work closely with media partners to ensure any placements are in alignment with your brand values and will not jeopardize the viewers’ perception of your brand or product. Open communication and collaboration with media partners can help tailor ad placements to fit your objectives and maintain a positive public image.


A spark of creativity will ignite your marketing.