Here's Where Swing State TV Ad Spending Surged in July

The Second Edition of the Ad Age Political Advertising Swing State Heat Map, Powered by Strata

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Editor's note: Here's the second installment of the Ad Age Swing State Advertising Heat Map, presented in partnership with Strata, an advertising software firm owned by Comcast that processes more than $50 billion in ad transactions each year. This monthly view is designed to supplement our weekly Campaign Scorecard posts that appear every Friday in our Campaign Trail section. Some context and analysis from Simon Dumenco follows. --Ken Wheaton

• ICYMI, here's the first installment in this series: "Exclusive: The Swing States Where Political Ad Spending Is Exploding"

• As we noted last time, by drilling down into Strata's hyperlocal TV advertising data -- the company works with political ad agencies representing 75% of the total political ad spending -- we can get a good sense of the ebb and flow of ad dollars among the batteground states.

• The battleground state landscape is shifting rapidly. Last time, Colorado topped our ranking of swing states that saw the biggest month-over-month increase in ad spending (rising 616% from May to June), while Wisconsin was No. 2 (with a 403% increase from May to June). This time, Colorado has gone cold (with a 6% decrease from June to July), while Wisconsin shifts into the top spot (rising 187% from June to July).

• That said, keep in mind that the presence of both the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention in July surely skewed some spending -- with plenty of free/earned media to be had thanks to comprehensive cable-news network coverage of the conventions along with nightly primetime telecasts on ABC, CBS and NBC.

• "Clinton has been blanketing the battleground states in television ads, while Trump has spent zero," Judd Rubin, VP-revenue at Strata, told Ad Age. "However, the levels of TV spend are going to increase dramatically for both campaigns. Trump raised $80 million in July and is just beginning to spend. Counterpunching with Twitter was effective in the primaries, but this is a different ballgame. Trump needs to change the narrative, and you do this with TV."

Ad Age Swing State Political Advertising Heat Map
Powered by Strata
% change June 2016 vs. July 2016

% change June vs. July (2016) % change 2012 vs. 2016 (July)
Green Bay 99% -14%
Madison NA -62%
Milwaukee-Racine 189% -42%
Miami-Ft.Lauderdale 340% -85%
Orlando 66% 0%
Tampa-St.Petersburg 128% 6%
Harrisburg-Lebanon 150% 113%
Philadelphia 31% NA
Pittsburgh 15% 263%
North Carolina
Charlotte-Gastonia-Rk Hill 35% 3%
Greensboro-Winston Salem 17% -35%
Raleigh-Durham -17% -26%
Detroit 3% -71%
Flint 347% -86%
Grand Rapids -93% -99%
Colorado Springs 12% -67%
Denver-Boulder -12% -47%
Grand Junction 937% -82%
Cincinnati -2% -41%
Cleveland -12% -14%
Columbus -10% 5%
Norfolk-Virginia Beach -24% -72%
Richmond 18% -55%
Washington, D.C. -20% -87%
Methodology: The Ad Age Swing State Political Advertising Heat Map tracks the ad spend of political advertising agencies in key swing states and local markets. The data reflects actual ad orders placed only by political advertising agencies to local/spot TV stations through Strata's software. The Heat Map includes local spend for the top three DMAs containing the highest percentage of total state populations for each state. The Heat Map is updated monthly with ad orders placed by political advertising agencies representing 75% of total political ad spend nationally.
About Strata: The solutions that Strata provides empowers clients to buy and sell all media types including cable, broadcast, newspaper, radio, outdoor and digital advertising mediums. Over $50 Billion in advertising dollars flow through Strata systems per year. As the system of choice for over 1,000 agencies in the United States, STRATA provides media technology that enables organizations to lead rather than react to industry developments. Strata is a Comcast Platform Services company. For more information, visit
Map and chart design by Ad Age Digital Content Producer Chen Wu.

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