2024 Trends for Political Advertisers


The 2024 US election cycle is poised to be quite the ride for political advertisers. There’s a contentious presidential race at the top of the ticket, a slew of other high-profile races further down the ballot, and a highly partisan and emotionally charged voter base, to name just a few of the elements shaping the terrain. To add to the drama, awareness-building and fundraising efforts start earlier each election cycle, so the wheels of 2024 campaigns are already in motion.

Amidst these complexities and record-setting election ad spend—projected at a whopping $12 billion—political advertisers must have the latest strategies and insights to plan and execute winning campaigns. To that end, here are some key trends that campaign teams should keep top-of-mind as they develop strategies and partnerships heading into 2024:

Trend #1: Connected TV is a Must-See Channel

Linear TV advertising has long been a go-to for campaign teams. It provides a familiar, engaging experience and gives political advertisers the opportunity to promote their messages in an emotional, memorable way. But over the past several years, there’s been a decrease in linear consumption: In July 2023, linear TV fell below 50% viewing share for the first time, with most of the time lost to linear shifting over to streaming. Savvy political advertisers are following these habits—thus reaching voters who watch less (or have never watched) linear TV. Plus, CTV offers political advertisers all the same benefits as linear, as well as the ability to target, measure, and optimize those ads more precisely.

CTV viewership is increasingly popular across all generations, but particularly so amongst millennials and Gen Z. This makes it a critical resource for political advertisers looking to motivate younger voters to head towards the polls, as well as those seeking to extend the reach of their TV buys to audiences who are not viewing linear tv.

Given that booming popularity, it makes sense that political advertisers are continuing to shift investment into CTV. In Basis, for example, programmatic ad buying on CTV grew by more than 60% in percentage of impression share from 2020 to 2022. Strong growth is expected in 2024 as CTV spend is forecast to reach $1.3 billion in spending during the 2024 cycle. To make the most of the expanding CTV opportunity, political advertisers should leverage a mix of buying approaches—including direct, programmatic guaranteed, private marketplace (PMP) deals, and open exchange—to ensure their campaigns stay on-budget, and seek out highly valuable exclusive CTV inventory through select partnerships to extend reach their reach.

Interested in a deeper dive into political connected TV advertising? Check out our comprehensive guide >

Trend #2: Using Advanced Targeting Techniques & Technology to Reach Voters

Ultimately, all elections are won at the local level—even presidential races come down to specific districts in key battleground states. As such, using geotargeting and voter files to reach voters based on geography is an established practice for political advertisers. But as technology has advanced and ad inventory expanded, more opportunities for advanced targeting have arisen. Perhaps the most notable of these technologies for political advertisers? Automatic content recognition, or ACR.

ACR is a technology that tracks what viewers watch on their smart TVs, thus allowing advertisers to place ads in a more targeted way. Though not available on all devices, it is available on an increasing amount of premium CTV inventory. By using ACR, political campaigns can create voter targeting segments of viewers who have seen a competitor’s ad, as well as those who have seen their own candidate’s or cause’s ad. These are segments that can be layered on top of geotargeting and voter files, allowing digital buyers to make even more personalized impact and extend reach to non-linear households. And though this technology is not brand new, there is now sufficient CTV inventory—due to increased viewership—that political advertisers can leverage it at scale for their 2024 campaigns.

Trend #3: Use Interest-Based Messaging and Break Through Mis- and Disinformation

The third and final trend that political advertisers should keep top-of-mind heading into 2024 is the importance of crafting relevant and interest-based messaging—especially in the context of mis- and disinformation. False and/or misleading content is, to some extent, inevitable during an election cycle, and most constituents will encounter it at some point. This is, in no small part, due to the growth of social media platforms and other online spaces where inflammatory online discussions can run rampant. To make matters worse, many major tech companies (think: Meta, Google, Amazon, X, and Alphabet) have recently made major cuts to their internet trust and safety teams.

So, how can political campaigns ensure their candidate’s true message is resonating with and persuading key voter groups? In short, by adapting quickly to the current narrative and nailing the creative messaging. Political advertisers can break through the noise of mis- and disinformation by personalizing messaging to create connection based on issues voters care about. Issues will define the 2024 election, and political advertisers will benefit from leaning heavily into interest-based messaging and targeting. For example, reproductive rights will be a major issue discussed by candidates during the 2024 cycle. Aligning a candidate’s pro-choice stance with voters passionate about reproductive choice will create connection and activation. By responding rapidly throughout a campaign and expressing a candidate’s views in a way that is clear, authentic, and emotionally resonant with audiences, political campaigns will ensure their message is cutting through a clutter of news and garner a strong share of voice.

Wrapping Up: 2024 Trends for Political Advertisers

Amidst what’s already shaping up to be a complex and highly competitive election cycle, political campaigns will need to ensure they are maximizing every dollar in their ad budgets in the year ahead. To that end, teams will benefit from using connected TV to reach audiences when and where they’re tuning in, leveraging advanced targeting technologies like ACR, and being strategic with their messaging to break through mis- and disinformation.


Hungry for more 2024 trends? Check out our 2024 Trends Report for everything digital marketers need to know for next year.

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