The Political Playbook for Advertisers


As we approach the 2020 US presidential election, political activity across mediums is heating up. eMarketer forecasts that political digital ad spend will reach $952M in 2020, nearly three times higher than during the 2016 election cycle.

At KORTX, we're already leaning into political ad strategies for a number of our clients. We've rounded up a few helpful pointers below, as our team has a wealth of experience in this vertical. In fact, one team member led the programmatic strategy for the most widely circulated newspaper in our Nation’s capital, another developed campaign creative that was heavily promoted in a state’s economic recovery, and another worked for a prospective 2020 presidential campaign, utilizing data science to plot out his campaign trail.

Need help with your strategy? From cross-platform campaign planning to creative production, data management and real-time reporting, our dedicated support team can help you cut through the political noise during this highly competitive digital season and drive real results.

Campaign Automation

Behind all KORTX campaigns, our workflow management system, Blueprint®, automates all steps involved from proposal submittal to post-campaign analysis. This ensures all communication is handled within the hour it is received, allowing our programs to launch 2x faster in comparison to leading industry providers.

Customized Creative

Our highly-visible custom Captivate rich media units can truly help amplify your messaging. Easily swap out candidate information including photos, videos and tag-lines to localize a national message. Showcase multiple performance stances with custom carousel units and swap video assets during ongoing campaigns with the video embed function. Static images can also be utilized for campaign slogans or branding and the unit offers a CTA function for conversions (i.e. donate, sign-up, etc.).

Automated Reporting

Understanding how your campaign is performing in real-time is important. Our reporting dashboard provides you with a comprehensive overview of campaign performance, audience insights, website analytics, campaign trends and optimizations, all in real-time. Additional options for ad verification, brand lift, foot traffic attribution and cross-device conversions are also available.

Tailored Targeting + Custom Audiences

Our team of data specialists will work with you to reach your target audience at any time, no matter where they are. Our custom audiences give you the power to understand the behaviors of voters based on party affiliation or political topics such as immigration, human rights, etc. From these learnings, we can then inform media buys or curate custom contextual or audience targeting plans to reach the right people at the right place and time.

Audience Targeting

Leverage our relationship with leading 3P data providers to reach users based on their political affiliation or those within key swing states. Example segments include:

  • Republican, Democrat, Independent
  • Political Donors, Democratic Donor Propensity, Republican Donor Propensity
  • Affluent Conservatives, Affluent Liberals, Affluent Politically Active
  • Legal/Political Issues (i.e. Adoption, Legislation, Human Rights, etc.)
  • Congressional District, Senate Districts
  • Politically Engaged TV Viewers (i.e. Republican, Heavy TV Viewer, Democrat, Light TV Viewer), Eligible Voters, etc.

Audience Targeting (Voter Registration Targeting + Extension)

With access to historical voter registration data, we can help you curate a custom lead list that can be safely on-boarded and targeted with any of our ad products. Additional layers can also be applied to refine the list based on your desired target audience profiles. These lists can then be modeled to extend the reach of the campaign and deliver ads to prospective voters that portray similar behaviors. Audience suppression lists can also be implemented to negatively target highly political audiences that may already be inundated with political ads.

Location Targeting (Mobile or Moment)

Utilize geo-fencing to deliver messaging to people at polling locations during the primaries, with the goal of then retargeting them in anticipation of election season. Micro-target at a zip code level to align with battleground locations, fence-sitters, etc.

Connected Television (CTV)/Video

As we continue to get closer and closer to the election, CTV inventory will be in high-demand. We encourage you to secure your premium inventory buys in advance. You can select inventory that complements any linear buys (i.e. linear running on ABC, CTV running on Vice Network to reach a younger demo) or select inventory that replaces linear buys at a lesser cost (i.e. CTV buy on major cable networks in designated markets). Capitalize on a political opponent’s linear buy and serve CTV on similar inventory to similar audiences. Utilize TV viewership data to target specific networks or TV audiences. 

The influx of political content and ad dollars for the upcoming election will inevitably impact advertisers across the board. We encourage you to start your planning now to better understand consumer attitudes and reach your audience throughout the saturated political season. We are here to help you get started!


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