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2022 Midterm Elections: Considerations for Media Investments

October 4, 2022 | 4 min read

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PMG Insights Team

Comprised of media practitioners, retail strategists, and senior business leaders, the PMG Insights Team creates compelling thought leadership, spearheads proprietary consumer research, and drafts editorial content on the current and future state of the advertising, media, and technology industries.

The upcoming midterm elections are driving record political ad spend, as controversial ballot issues and several high-stakes races transform advertising channels like broadcast, CTV, social, and programmatic into a battleground for engaging voters ahead of Election Day. This politically-charged media environment, with political ad spend estimated to reach nearly $10 billion this cycle, takes shape just as holiday sales get underway for major retailers and other brands, requiring non-political advertisers to adopt a flexible, brand-safe approach to navigating this critical moment. To help advertisers adapt to unexpected market and consumer signals, this report offers advertisers a few considerations for brand media investments during this time.

Key Takeaways
  • Political ad spend is expected to reach nearly $10 billion as high-profile races, coupled with partisan down-ballot contests, fuel a politically-charged media environment.

  • Streaming services like Hulu, Roku, and YouTube TV have emerged as popular platforms for political ad investments, while Big Tech companies like Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok announce new ad features, safety teams, and content policies to maintain election integrity, improve transparency, and curb misinformation or coordinated online behavior.

  • As Election Day draws near, advertisers must be ready to shift plans and adapt to unexpected market and consumer signals. Rising ad costs are to be expected in the days leading up to November 8. Keeping an eye out for unusual performance trends, such as spikes in CPMs, CPCs, or dips in ROI—while monitoring user sentiment—can help advertisers make the most of their ad dollars during this time.