Thanks to the power of super PACs and their ability to spend anything they want in support of their candidate, the 2012 Presidential election campaigns have already surpassed the record-high amount spent four years ago. With the election now 100 days away and still up for grabs, the spending figures will only accelerate into November and climb well beyond the $9.8 billion estimate given by Advertising Age in early March.
Since we all have to sit through the ads and spend four years unsatisfied with the results, we might as well try to profit from the noise. In the attached clip Porter Bibb "follows the money" to find places to invest ahead of the elections.
The Managing Partner of MediaTech Capital Partners starts first with television, but not where you might think. "We're going to see a huge flood in the next 90 days of television advertising that's never been equaled," says Bibb. "The big winners are not the networks; the big winners are in local television."
Despite what you may think or hope, there's not a real limit on the amount of advertising space available on TV. Citing the stunning amount of Obama advertising during the British Open, Bibb says stations are more than happy to build out advertising blocks to meet the demand for ad space. That's also the case for radio where politicians have a captive drive-time audience rich with swing voters. The key word there is "captive." Television viewers are much more apt to bail out of a program than relatively loyal listeners.
As is seemingly always the case, newspapers don't win. With only three national papers --USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times (NYT)-- there's a limited number of attractive places for a Presidential candidate to place their ads. Combine that weak appeal with dropping circulation and those looking for a turnaround in old school papers are apt to be disappointed. Again.
On the happier side, Bibb says there's more room to run for the networks and local media plays. "I really like all of the broadcast and cable companies for the third quarter; they should post very high, if not record earnings." His favorites include Disney (DIS), Comcast (CMCSA), News Corp (NWS), and CBS (CBS).