Politicians Are Turning to OTT Advertising to Win the 2018 Midterm Elections

Amrita Hemdev
By Amrita Hemdev
October 05, 2018

As the midterm elections heat up and come to a close, how are you planning to reach your desired target audience?

With the 2018 congressional elections generating more attention than the earlier midterms, there is a great opportunity for advertisers to use digital advertising to influence voters.

2018 is set to be a record year for political ad spending. Borrell Associates forecasted 2018 political ad spend to reach $8.8 billion, which is 6.3% up compared to the previous “Year 2” cycle in 2014.

In such a competitive political climate, where hundreds of political races are taking place, political advertisers and marketers must rethink their digital advertising strategy to ensure that they are running brand-safe and effective campaigns to reach the right voters.

The rise of OTT advertising is a new method for political advertising, as this was just emerging during the 2016 elections. With nearly 200M OTT viewers in 2018, as per eMarketer, advertising on connected TV is the new way of TV advertising.

According to Telaria’s recently released political ad data, there is a 200% growth in political ad spending in 2018, as compared to the same period in 2016. The company also saw a shift away from display advertising and toward connected TV advertising.


Digital advertising is the second largest type of advertising spend comprising 20.1% and $1.77 billion dollars. Second only to, and gaining on, broadcast TV.

Changing consumer habits are playing an essential role in the growth of political ad spend on OTT advertising. The type of viewers who are adopting streaming habits to watch tv content include both the young and affluent — a combination that has great appeal to advertisers. Younger demographics are the ones that may not be watching traditional or linear TV at all, making OTT advertising one of the most effective ways to reach them.


“The biggest problem the candidates have this year, and last year and the year before is reaching 18-34s. If you look at any of the recent reports from eMarketer or Nielsen, that demographic is viewing less and less content on the television screen, and more through over-the-air and connected devices. The politicians understand these are the voters not only of today but also tomorrow.”

Aman Sareen, Co-Founder and CEO, ZypMedia


Focus on close elections where digital advertising will make the most impact.

Forecasters are predicting 2018 to be a record year for political ad spending, with hundreds of congressional and state races likely to push advertising totals into the billions of dollars. With a rapidly changing political climate, these are some of the states that we anticipate to have more advertising dollars to be spent on cutting through the competition:


map 2


There is a huge opportunity for political advertisers as TV is going through an OTT revolution.

The pace of digital disruption that is transforming the TV industry is increasing day by day.

OTT advertising is a great fit for political because it has the appeal of traditional TV advertising with the added benefits of audience targeting and digital measurement.

Savvy political advertisers are following the mounting OTT audience growth to reach their voters. Today, OTT delivers the best of attributes of TV with the capability to precisely target consumers down to the local level, and a growing ability to target using demographic and psychographic factors.

Content on connected TV devices takes up the full screen, making it unlikely for an ad to not be fully viewable. OTT viewers are not channel-surfers —they’ve initiated the show themselves — and they represent a highly engaged audience.


OTT is the key to successfully selling digital advertising for the 2018 political season

At ZypMedia, we anticipate that OTT is going to be a significant platform for investing your political advertising budgets into throughout the rest of October, right up to the November 6th midterm election. It will also see political traction beyond the election, supporting followup political campaigns after the vote.

OTT helps you and your clients reach the right voters with a more personalized message down at the local level. The close touch provided via local digital ads is a substantial opportunity for advertisers and media companies to use local targeting to increase awareness and interaction between the community.

For political advertisers looking to access cutting-edge marketing technology, ZypMedia promises the full package. We help large media companies with local outlets, like television and radio stations, plan and execute massive political advertising campaigns.

The U.S. Midterm Election Is Only a Month Away - Are You Taking Advantage of This Ad Selling Opportunity?

You have only the next few weeks to capture this heightened political advertising demand. The time to start working on those deals is now.

SpotX has ranked ZypMedia as one of the top 5 DSPs to help it reach 18x year-over-year growth in advertiser dollars spent on OTT in 2017. We help professionals like you sell more over-the-top advertising every day.

You have questions about selling OTT advertising to politicians. We have answers. Get in touch with our team today to capture the Q4 political ad spend budget.


Picture of Amrita Hemdev

Amrita Hemdev

Amrita is an inbound marketer. She studied marketing and project management at UC Berkeley and proceeded to work in a fast-paced, digital advertising tech startup, with a goal of increasing brand awareness. She is currently the Content Marketing Specialist at ZypMedia. Passionate about digital marketing and having six years of experience in this field, she also started her digital marketing and creative agency, Sociato, based in India.