How Many Steaks Would It Take to Pay for Trump's Campaign Ads?

By Published on .

The Ad Age Presidential Campaign Ad Scorecard is sponsored by The Trade Desk

Editor's note: Here's the 32nd installment of the 2016 Presidential Campaign Ad Scorecard. The chart below represents a collaboration between the Ad Age Datacenter -- specifically, Kevin Brown, Bradley Johnson and Catherine Wolf -- and Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), together with Ad Age Digital Content Producer Chen Wu. Some context from Simon Dumenco follows. --Ken Wheaton

ICYMI, a Trump campaign ad appeared during Hillary Clinton's appearance on Funny or Die's "Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis" -- all for the sake of comedy. The ad was there as a sight gag, so that Clinton could object and then Galifianakis could explain that Trump "paid me in steaks."

In the real world, it's a lot harder to spot an actual Trump ad. Team Trump's tightfisted approach to advertising continues, with the booked TV and radio spending until election day by the Trump campaign and pro-Trump PACs still a small fraction of the booked TV and radio spending by the Clinton campaign and pro-Clinton PACs.

Right now, Team Trump has booked spending that exceeds $1 million (and not by much) in only three states: Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. In Ohio specifically, the Trump campaign and pro-Trump PACs have reserved $1.6 million of ad time vs. the $20.3 million reserved by the Clinton campaign and pro-Clinton PACs.

Our chart below is interactive -- hover over the background color of a given state to see booked spending in that state -- and color-coded. As you can see, in three states where Team Clinton is spending -- Arizona, Nebraska and Virginia -- Team Trump is spending $0. Among the states where both camps are spending, Team Trump has booked the least in New Hampshire -- just $46,736, which is an amount low enough by presidential campaign standards that it actually could conceivably be paid in steaks. (Team Clinton, meanwhile, has booked just under $7 million in New Hampshire.)

Booked Presidential Campaign Local-Market Spending
on TV and radio from Sept. 23 through Nov. 7
States where only Clinton and pro-Clinton PACs have booked spending
States where only Trump and pro-Trump PACs have booked spending
States where both Trump and pro-Trump PACs and Clinton and pro-Clinton PACs have booked spending
Other booked spending: $22,105,496
Total booked spending: $143,840,993
Source: Ad Age analysis of data from Kantar Media's CMAG.
Spending and ad buys (future buys subject to change) for presidential campaigns, PACs and advocacy groups from Sept. 23, 2016, through Nov. 7, 2016, as of Sept. 22, 2016.
Pay structures differ for candidates and PACs. Candidates pay the lowest unit rate. PACs pay whatever the market will bear.
Data reflect spending in local markets; data exclude spending on cable TV networks, broadcast TV networks and national radio. Booked spending for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and other items not directly related to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump included in total but not shown on map.

Most Popular
In this article: