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Joe Biden’s presidential campaign says it is spending $280 million to reserve TV and digital advertising time across the country, in what campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon says is the “largest presidential campaign advertising time reservation in history.”
As is usually the case in presidential election years, the lion’s share of the ad spend is in states that the campaign believes will be competitive. But in a memo outlining the ad buy, O’Malley Dillon also notes that it includes national TV buys on broadcast and cable.
“A significant portion of our reservation will be :60 ads, allowing for longer-form creative and higher-quality impressions with voters as we head into the election,” she writes. “Additionally, our reservation will include major viewing events, including the return of sports, national broadcast news and presidential and vice-presidential debate coverage.”
The Biden campaign is also pouring ad dollars into more niche networks, including OWN, BET and Bounce to reach African American voters.
On the digital front, the campaign has made significant reservations on Google’s YouTube (including “Masthead” site takeover spots), Hulu, and ESPN’s digital platforms. The campaign is also making a push into podcasts, with O’Malley Dillon writing that “we plan to invest heavily in the area and broker investments with top properties in the space,” and online gaming, where the campaign is brokering deals with platforms like Sony PlayStation and TapJoy to reserve ad space. The campaign is also planning a significant ad buy on Snapchat.
The Trump and Biden campaigns have already been trying to reach different constituencies by focusing on ad buys in unexpected places, with the Trump campaign making a significant buy on Discovery Inc.’s Food Network to try and reach suburban women, and the Biden campaign targeting NASCAR and Fox News to get in front of Republicans that may not be enthused by Trump.
The new paid media buy outlined Wednesday builds on that strategy, and presents opportunities for TV networks that may not have traditionally been targets for political campaigns.