How Political Elections Affect the Outdoor Advertising Industry

This year is a big election year, according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), political campaigns will spend $10-12 billion dollars on advertising. How can the outdoor advertising industry take a big slice of that pie? Presidential and congressional races look big and flashy but there are only so many of those campaign dollars to go around. There are far more governors, county representatives, attorneys, mayors, and county commissioners that are also running and that’s where the money is.

The Outdoor Advertising Association of America or OAAA in partnership with Vivvix found that 84% of billboard political ad spend is locally driven. They found that about 7% are based on ballot issues, 6% on national campaigns, 2% by Political Action Campaigns (PACs), and 1% on presidential campaigns. Therefore, small local elections are most companies’ best bet for capturing some of the political spending budgets this year.

However, there is often strict legislation surrounding political ads, such as how long they can be posted and what kind of messages are acceptable. Meadow watches closely the windows in which we can put up and take down political advertising to stay in compliance with local legislation. We also have a policy that we will only post positive political advertising, nothing attacking another candidate or party. If OOH companies are able to navigate the quagmire of laws surrounding political outdoor advertising in their jurisdiction, it can be well worth it to soak up some of their inventory with short-term ads this year.

OAAA has many best practices when dealing with political ads. They recommend forming a relationship with the candidates and being known in the local area for having effective advertising, so people will come back to you every few years. OOH companies should also be aware that speed and timing is crucial for these campaigns.

Some selling points for political outdoor ads from OAAA are that they reach minority voters, and young, low-propensity voters, photos of billboard are easily repurposed as social media content, and billboards are the best method for spreading awareness to a mass audience.

Selling short-term out of home advertising space for political campaigns can be well worth the work. They might seem small at first but can add up and boost the bottom line by thousands or millions. Will you join the fray to fight for a portion of the billions of dollars campaigns will spend on advertising this year?

If you are interested in advertising on one of our billboards call us at 800-221-4114 or email us at!