Timeline for Advertising in an Election Year

Use integrated marketing to make an impact during these key political times. Posted on Tuesday, May 10 in Breaking Through the Clutter.

We recently posted a blog about TV ads being preempted by political advertisements.  In this installment of Breaking Through the Political Noise we’ll review the expected timeline of political advertising and other major events to consider when planning your advertising campaigns in 2016.


Television ads have historically dominated presidential campaigns and the trend will continue for the 2016 elections.  According to the Borrell 2015-2016 Political Advertising Outlook report, 73% of the budget for national elections and 48% of the budget for state and local elections will be spent on TV advertisements.  On top of the large amounts of money allocated for the campaigns, the strategy will expand beyond broadcast to also include cable and streaming services, like Hulu.  The budgets and expanded network buys are just the beginning of things to consider if you’re still planning to run TV ads in 2016.  Here are a few key dates to be aware of while scheduling TV ads:  

  • Scheduled Republican debates.  Click here for the up-to-date list:
    • January 14
    • January 28
    • February 6
    • February 13
    • February 26
    • March 10
  • Scheduled Democratic debates.  Click here for the up-to-date list:
    • January 17
    • February 11
    • March 9
  • July 18 – 2: The Republican National Convention
  • July 25 – 28: The Democratic National Convention
  • August 5 -21: Summer Olympics
  • September 9 – November 8: 60 days before the election typically affect TV ad rates. Expect to pay even more for a spot during this time period.
  • September 26: First presidential debate
  • October 4: Vice presidential debate
  • October 9: Second presidential debate
  • October 19: Third presidential debate
  • November 8: Election day


The key dates listed above clearly show the competition for TV ads will be high throughout all of 2016.  If television is a major component of your advertising strategy you will either need to pay an increased rate for the ads or move your marketing budget to other platforms to continue your messaging.


At Statesman Journal Media we understand integrated marketing strategies are always essential to advertising success, not just in election years.  Our integrated marketing experts utilize a comprehensive toolbox of advertising solutions to reach the engaged audiences you need.  Our extensive portfolio of solutions and partnerships with leading advertising platforms, like Google and Facebook, allow us to create unique campaigns that deliver results.  In addition to our local expertise, we belong to the USA Today Network and can extend your messaging from beyond Mid-Willamette Valley to anywhere across the United States.  Contact us today to start the conversation about your 2016 integrated marketing campaign.


Click here to learn more about Breaking Through the Political Noise. 

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