Who’s Buying Radio Time? Ron Paul and Barack Obama


In the current highly contentious race for the Oval Office, there are two high profile candidates who do not believe the exaggerated rumors of radio’s death — Ron Paul and Barrack Obama. How do I know this? By looking at the numbers. Bill Virgin at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer gives us a breakdown of the candidates’ radio spending in Washington state:

The two candidates who have been active radio advertisers are Republican Ron Paul and Democrat Barack Obama. Several station groups report receiving queries from Hillary Clinton’s campaign but as yet no actual buys.

Paul, for example, has bought time on KIRO-AM, KVI-AM and KOMO-AM, all news-talk stations, but also on music stations KCMS-FM and KMTT-FM. Obama, meanwhile, bought time on several music stations: KPLZ-FM, KUBE-FM, KQMV-FM (marketed as Movin) and KISW-FM.

Paul and Obama both bought time on CBS’ FM music stations, said Lisa Decker, senior vice president and market manager for Seattle and Portland.

Obama was particularly interested in listeners 18 to 34, while Paul was targeting listeners 35 and older. Both wound up on KMPS-FM, while Obama is also on KBKS-FM and Paul landed on KZOK-FM.

The interesting note here is that a portion of these funds are being used for spots on music stations. Usually news-talk stations are the focus of political ad spending.

Dwight Douglas of Media Monitors brings us a fascinating special report, The Spot Ten Spot Light, about the week leading up to Super Tuesday:

Radio is a powerful medium. Most smart advertisers of products and services know this. With political advertisements, the strategies are some times different. For example, some candidates know their stronger states and decide to, as they say, keep their powder dry for closer battles in other states. While some candidates use advertising much like politicians use a reward system for those who support them. Note the repeating of Mitt Romney’s schedule of 3 spots in certain markets. All of them ran on Rush Limbaugh’s program.

The report then provides a state by state breakdown that includes a look at radio spending in each state’s key market along with reporting on how many votes each candidate actually captured. Very interesting stuff!

I’ll close today with a small excerpt from the above report which breaks down last week’s radio spots:

BARACK OBAMA last week on national radio ran 4,842 spots. RON PAUL was #2 running 2,941 spots. The CALIFORNIA COALITION TO PROTECT THE BUDGET was #3 and ran 2,326 announcements, while HILLARY CLINTON was #4 running 2,141 spots. The VOTE YES TO PINNACLE ENTERTAINMENT was #5 with 1,082 spots. CALIFORNIA’S POWER PAC FOR FAIR EDUCATION ran 981 spots and was the #6 advertiser with JOHN MCCAIN coming in #7 with 809 spots. A POWER PAC for BARACK OBAMA also ran spots for the candidate and came in 8th with 547 spots. There was a POWER PAC ad group that was #9 with 498 spots with YES ON PROP. 93 running 449 spots.

Whatever else may be said about the candidates of this year’s race, one thing is certain: Barack Obama and Ron Paul believe in the power of radio!

photos courtesy of dfred and transplanted mountaineer, used under this Creative Commons license


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