CTV Advertising Dominated Digital Strategies in 2022 US Midterm Elections

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—As political parties and media buyers gear up for the 2024 presidential race, a new study from Basis Technologies provides some insights from the 2022 Midterms that indicate more political spending is likely to shift to connected TVs (CTV) advertising in 2024. 

Basis Technologies, leading provider of cloud-based workflow automation and business intelligence software for marketing and advertising, found that programmatic ad impressions and spend on CTV devices increased by more than 60% in 2022. 

“Digital advertising is a tried-and-true core element for successful political campaigns, as illustrated by the rapid adoption of newer digital channels like CTV we’ve seen over recent election cycles,” said Grace Briscoe, senior vice president of candidates and causes, Basis Technologies. “Winning political playbooks need a combination of speed, scale, precision, engagement and measurability. Programmatic advertising and digital video combine important elements needed for both persuasion and turning out the vote.”

The new data was compiled from more than 1000 advertisers for state, local and national races managing digital ad buying via Basis Technologies’ software platform. These political and advocacy advertisers encompassed more than $130 million spent across display, video, native, search and social media.

Key findings from the report include: 

  • The overwhelming favorite format for digital advertising was video (68%) based on spending share and CTV ads were a key reason why.  
  • Automated buying through demand-side platforms (DSPs), though very popular in 2020 campaigns with 63% share of budgets, dipped to 52% in 2022. Direct buying surged to 35% share.
  • For programmatic media, there was a 40% rise in average CPMs between January and November 2022; video ad CPMs were more steady throughout the year, only deviating 5-10% from the average in any given month.
  • As in 2018 and 2020, the top three direct sellers were YouTube, Facebook, and Hulu (with some change in rank between the three every election cycle). New to the top 15 (that weren’t on the list in 2020) were VideoAmp, Katz Media Group, LG Ads, Nexstar Media Group and NBC Universal.
  • Campaigns spent 50% of digital ad budgets in the last 30 days before Election Day, and 25% in the last 10 days. This is a consistent pattern for every election cycle.
  • Michigan garnered the most programmatic ad impressions served through Basis, followed by Wisconsin and California.

 The complete report is available here.