Editor’s note: This post includes spending data analysis by Ad Age Datacenter Director of Data Management Kevin Brown, with web production by Corey Holmes. Scroll down to see the chart.
Memo to Joe Biden and media consumers in swing states: Brace yourselves.
Here’s what they—and you—need to know:
• In the biggest, most dramatic outlay on political advertising in the 2020 presidential election cycle since the free-spending Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer primary-season glory days, President Donald Trump’s campaign just dropped $99.7 million on TV advertising across Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Arizona, according to the latest Ad Age Campaign Ad Scorecard analysis—an ongoing project led by Ad Age Datacenter Director of Data Management Kevin Brown in partnership with Kantar/CMAG.
• The buys are advance bookings—essentially prepaid reservations of airtime—for Labor Day through Election Day.
• The spending spree came fast and furious, Brown says, with $95.9 million in ads booked across the six states on Monday alone—and then, for good measure, another $3.8 million plowed into Florida on Tuesday.
• Of the $99.7 million outlay, 37.6 percent is going to Florida.
• With TV (broadcast and cable), we’re talking about finite inventory—which is why so much advance spending tends to happen in the final months of big campaigns. (If you don’t buy now, you might pay more later—and some TV markets might be entirely sold out during the most desirable dayparts and across the most coveted demographics.) Ad Age Campaign Ad Scorecard has also been tracking digital spending across Google and Facebook properties, but advance spending on those platforms isn’t information that’s typically made publicly available—although we do know of one big, high-profile advance digital buy by the Trump campaign: “Trump Ads Will Take Over YouTube’s Homepage on Election Day,” as Bloomberg News reported in February. (The terms and scope of that buy remain unclear.)