a4 Advertising Evolves Self-Serve Digital Targeting for Political TV Ads

In June, we debuted our self-serve platform known as Athena Political, which is now increasingly being thrust into action as election day approaches. Athena Political, enables our advertisers to precisely target desired voter demographics, boasts a comprehensive set of options from location tools, to advertising scheduling, to exclusions of select media content. Although national campaigns might receive the lion’s share of attention and focus in our national discourse, the self-serve platform can be drawn upon by campaigns of all levels, including, for instance, state legislative races. (Our platform offers the ability to reach all the way to the zip code level.)

David Powers, our Head of Product, explains, “As long as you have a credit card, you’re good to go.” This enables those managing even very small campaigns to draw upon our self-serve resources, enabling local campaigns to activate TV and digital advertising using self-serve media buying tools.

Political advertising in recent years has largely “closed the gap,” when compared to direct response advertising. As of late, political advertisers are increasingly bringing their own audiences, rather than relying entirely on the data of others. “Political is right there with direct marketing now. So, I think I wouldn’t have even thought of a platform like Athena Political ten years ago; now, you need to have a platform for self-service,” Powers advised. As reported in a recent column on the state of political spending in 2020, a projected $6.7 billion will be spent in the 2020 Election cycle. Therefore, a variety of advanced options must be available to political campaigns and Athena Political is the answer.

To this point, the expansion of the political advertising space, in terms of both dollars spent and the increased technical capabilities for reaching desired voters, has been a necessary precursor to increased investment in our self-serve tool. On the demand side, for instance, the fact of the matter is that—thanks to the past several years of an expanding focus on digital and OTT advertising—more experienced professionals from the digital and advanced TV side are now available for campaigns to hire. These individuals, who may have extensive experience in programmatic, are well-poised to be hired by campaigns and to use Athena Political to their campaign’s benefit. As Powers describes, “People have now learned programmatic. If you go back a few cycles, the problem was the base. You didn’t have that many people available to run a programmatic campaign. Now, you have people…that might be willing to step over into politics.” For individuals such as these, Athena Political allows them to draw upon experience to effectively target prospective voters through digital, mobile and television advertising.

Although, it was not long ago when mobile would not have even been a consideration for political self-serve advertising; however, now, it is a prerequisite for any political advertising strategy. Just the same, Powers anticipates that “there is going to be a lot of disruption in TV, between linear and digital players.” Of equal importance, though, is the degree to which using cookies has become all the more important for reaching voters. “When you have disruption in the cookie space, that’s going to have a significant impact, as well.” Athena Political, to this point, emphasizes the ability of advertisers to use cookies for authenticated IP targeting for both “home and away targeting.”

For Powers, broadly speaking, the increasing advancement of technologies—such as our Athena Political self-serve platform —is tied inextricably to the ever-forward march of the political advertising space. This has been brought all the more into focus as of late, as political advertising spending has largely resisted the sort of downturns that other sectors have experienced in response to the economic fallout of the pandemic.

In addition to the features we’ve developed, it’s important for potential advertisers to bear in mind that a4 Advertising is a company steeped in both political advertising and digital political advertising; we have the solution you need. Athena Political is best leveraged when also combined with the experience and long-standing practices that we employ to our clients everyday.

Access our Athena for Political Platform HERE.

Blog post paraphrased from an article originally published on Media Village on 8/13/2020.

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