They Approve This Message: Trump, Biden Campaigns Plan Ad Blitz


The prime season for the presidential campaign is just beginning, with the Democrat and Republican conventions in the next two weeks, and the debates set to begin in late September. But the biggest sign of the campaign home stretch will be the ads---voters can expect to be bombarded with political ads between now and November 3. Both the Biden and Trump campaigns have reserved hundreds of millions of dollars in ads for this fall across television, radio and digital.

Even Texas, not usually considered a battleground state, can't escape the ad blitz. The Biden campaign has included Texas on its ad spending list thanks to polls that suggest the race could be competitive here. The Trump campaign has also run ads here to shore up support, while boasting about its massive ground game in the Lone Star State.

Of course, like everything else in 2020, the coronavirus pandemic is the wild card that makes this unlike any other campaign season. "This will be a record breaking year (for campaign spending)," says Adam Goodman, longtime campaign media strategist. "With maybe record setting innovations about how people communicate during a pandemic amid a fog of ads."

Goodman tells KTRH that, despite both campaigns boasting about their spending plans, not all spending is the same. "If you go back to 2016, the most important number in ad spending from the Trump campaign was in digital...it was not in cable or broadcast," he says. "So things are changing."

The pandemic and its impact on the psyche of voters also could mean an audience that is more receptive to a different message than the traditional campaign ad. "In the last couple months, up to 90 percent of all television ads in the campaign sphere have been negative...I think that may continue, but in a pandemic I think people more and more are looking for signs of hope," says Goodman.

"Because there will be so many ads out there and at such quantity, the quality will come into play," he says. "It will be about what ads really break through the fog."


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