SQAD: Obama Shot for Younger Demos, Clinton for Older on TV

Democratic contenders played to their strengths in their TV media plans by targeting the far ends of the demographic spectrum, according to a SQAD analysis of cost per points in key primary states. Barack Obama tended to place dollars against the younger demos, while Hillary Clinton targeted older adults.

In the six weeks prior to the Texas, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania elections, spending to reach 18-34 year-olds and those over 50 increased 11 percent and 10 percent, respectively, compared to 2007. In contrast, the average cost of spots targeting all TV households remained stagnant.

“The desire of candidates to quickly and aggressively act before they fall victim to it has helped the spot TV market evolve into the advertising medium of choice for candidates and political action committees seeking to deliver fresh messages to tightly focused groups of key voters in the weeks leading up to an election,” said Neil Klar, CEO of SQAD. “Spot advertising simply delivers maximum ballots for the buck.”

In Ohio, for example, Democratic contenders and interest groups bought a combined 19,000 spot commercials at a cost of about $8 million. CPMs in the 18-34 demo rose 9 percent. But Ohio was also the only one of the four states to show a 4 percent increase among the 35 to 49 demo. CPMs for 50-plus remained unchanged.

CPMs among the 18-34 demo rose by more than 22 percent in Wisconsin, while the CPM targeting women 50 and older rose 7 percent. CPMs among women 18-34 ad men over 50 decreased 3 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

Obama and Clinton combined spent more than $15 million in Texas prior to the March 4 primary. The CPM among men over 50 rose 9 percent and among women was up 19 percent. CPMs among 18-34 year-old males and females rose 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

In Pennsylvania, CPMs among 18-34 year-olds and 50-plus age groups increased by 5 percent and 17 percent, respectively.