The 2023 OTT Landscape for Political Campaigns

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With the continued rise of video advertising in the digital world — political campaigns are focusing on the most impactful ways to place key messages in front of target audiences. Video content can be posted across organic platforms (Twitter, TikTok, Meta, and YouTube, to name a few) as well as promoted through a growing number of advertising platforms that distribute content through paid content strategies.

OTT ads (sometimes referred to as Connected TV ads or streaming ads) are one of the most powerful ways in the paid media ecosystem to reach your target voters. As candidates and political campaigns plan their 2023 and 2024 ad spending, our team has shared our tips and tricks for making the most of your OTT program:

What is OTT? To start, OTT (which stands for Over-The-Top in digital jargon) is a method of streaming content over the internet through devices like a laptop, smartphone, or Connected TV. Think of streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, YouTube TV, or Roku when you think of some examples of how OTT might be seen in your home. OTT is different from “linear television”  — or, TV content that is accessed via a cable subscription or cable box.

How many Americans are using OTT? According to a recent Kantar report, 85% of US households have a subscription to a video streaming service. And many households have more than one streaming service — with an average of 4.7 services per household (for example, a household that subscribes to Hulu, Peacock, Netflix, and HBO Max). Many of these services are supported by paid advertising space, also known as being “ad-supported,” when viewers are prompted to watch ads to access the content.

How does this impact campaigns? OTT has been a significant advantage for national, state, and local campaigns because of its targetability and cost flexibility. For example, a candidate for school board can now place ads on a TV screen without the cost of a traditional television buy. OTT can also be targeted at the household level to voter lists, helping to reach only your target audience and maximize your ad spend.

What makes a good OTT ad in 2023? Similar to TV ads, a good OTT ad is concise, clear, and memorable. As viewers are often watching on their TVs, OTT is generally not clickable. To counter this challenge, we often recommend running them in tandem with a Google Search campaign so that when OTT drives awareness and recall, a Google Search campaign can support conversions on the website.

How do campaigns access OTT? Campaigns can place ads on OTT platforms either by working with the media and device providers directly or through agencies and digital placement tools like SpeakEasy.

Looking to learn more about OTT and digital advertising options? Drop us a line at [email protected] or book a time to chat below:

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