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US internet users say they learn more about politics from TV than anywhere else, and that TV ads are most likely to influence their voting behavior. But digital video is a growing source of political info as well, and research suggests desktop-based video ads are the leading digital format for political campaigns.
Desktop video led the mix of digital ad formats served on the TubeMogul programmatic platform across campaign type between January 2015 and April 2016.
The video advertising platform has been serving political ad campaigns for presidential candidates, House and Senate hopefuls, and local politicians—each of which has a unique format mix to their campaign strategies.
Desktop video ads have made up the bulk of each campaign’s approach. Local campaigns concentrated on this format the most (96%) since the beginning of 2015, and have used mobile video for the remainder of their campaigns. Similarly, congressional campaigns served up 70% of their mix as desktop video, followed by 15% of impressions for each of mobile video and desktop display.
Meanwhile, the presidential campaigns have had the most variation in ads served. These political advertisers have devoted half of their impressions to desktop video, followed by a quarter to mobile video, and the remainder split between desktop display and mobile display.
And while TV is still more common—and perhaps more effective as well—there are definite positives for digital video during campaign season. According to a separate study from YuMe that was released in February 2016, 42% of respondents said there’s too many TV ads, compared to 26% who said there’s an overload of digital ads.
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