We've written a lot lately about the TV-vs.-digital divide in political advertising. Voters aren't consuming media in the same way as previous election cycles, and it's incumbent on campaigns to get their messages in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
-- A new bipartisan poll puts these changes in stark relief. According to the survey, conducted by Global Strategy Group (D)/Public Opinion Strategies (R) and first reported by Politico, nearly three-in-ten respondents hadn't watched live TV in the week prior to being interviewed (not including sporting events), including more than 40% of voters under age 35. For the first time, less than half of voters said that live TV is their primary way to watch video content.
-- The easy conclusion to make is that TV is out and digital is in. But that's overstating the case. And the same technology that's making live TV less dominant is, at the same time, making TV advertising more efficient and targeted. Set-top-box data and the rise of addressable advertising mean that less money will be wasted over the air.
-- Another oversimplification: The entrenched consultant class isn't trying to adjust. That's one of the main complaints we hear from next-generation digital consultants, but, for their part, media consultants are becoming increasingly platform-neutral. "I think this business is becoming one thing," OnMessage Inc.'s Brad Todd (R) told Hotline earlier this month. "We're screen-agnostic and we're platform agnostic. All our campaign strategies include now a mobile component, a digital component and television."
That doesn't mean that the political industry has done an adequate job reacting to these changes in communication, or that Democrats haven't outpaced Republicans on this front. But the fact that two of the largest polling firms in politics have been conducting this survey for the past four years is evidence the establishment is taking notice.