Political Buyers Secure Scale in Local OTT
Q&A with Adam Gaynor and Anthony Greene
Political Season is heating up, and with it, the flow of ad dollars to key channels reaching hyper-local voters with personalized messages. We sat down with Gamut leaders, Adam Gaynor, Interim President and CRO, and Anthony Greene, VP of Programmer Partnerships, to get their take on the value of Local OTT to political buyers.
Question: What shifts are you seeing across the political landscape with the General Election underway?
As we’ve observed across all verticals, there’s been a resurgence in local marketing as advertisers seek one-to-one connections with their customers, or in this case, voters.
Political buyers want to work with people that understand delivering in tight zip codes, those that have access to inventory in ALL voting districts. This decides who will be elected and lead.
For us, hyper-localization at scale is in our DNA. It’s what we do every day – and we’ve been long-standing leaders in the OTT space with technology that ensures targeted, brand-safe experiences at scale. When political campaigns need to find the voters that matter in races for Georgia Governor, Pennsylvania Senate, or even Sacramento City Council … we reach those voters year-round across all verticals.
Question: What common challenges are advertisers facing?
We know – when a budget comes in, political advertisers can’t take chances. They need to reach their constituents and make a difference – they need to deliver in full. During this election cycle, the ad market is expected to experience record-breaking saturation leading to scarce inventory, especially across local broadcast and cable. The competition for local video inventory is fierce as, according to AdImpact¹, $9.7 billion will be spent on political ads during the 2022 election cycle. Two-thirds of that ad spend is expected to go towards local linear TV channels, with almost $1 billion already pre-booked. This will lead many political advertisers challenged with facing ad preemptions that can disrupt their campaigns and leave them scrambling to deliver on displaced local spots messaging voters.
As a result, advertisers must seriously consider recovering local reach at scale aligning their message with relevant, premium content. BIA Advisory Services² states that OTT is the fastest growing local ad channel, with ad spend set to hit $2 billion in 2022. Local OTT will be the sweet spot to solve for the inventory squeeze that leads to preemptions.
In local OTT, direct access to the publisher’s ad server is the difference. Programmatic, while a great vehicle for National delivery, is a process, not a product. When you’re serving hyper-targeted ads down to the zip code level – political campaigns work with a partner that is accessing inventory directly from the top publishers, OEMs, and virtual MVPDs.
Gamut’s uniqueness is it leverages direct access to premium video inventory from more than 100 top-tier networks streaming OTT content. We offer our partners TV-like placements and devices at scale while delivering the Audiences, Geo-locations, Impressions/GRPs and Daypart guarantees they need without disrupting their media plans.
Question: Why is local OTT necessary to reach voters?
The value in direct, local OTT lies in consumer engagement. This year marks a tipping point in TV viewing as time spent with streaming video is up over 22% year-over-year and is now outpacing all other TV platforms, according to Nielsen³. Consumers … and voters … are spending more time viewing streaming TV (34.8%) vs. Cable (34.4%) and Broadcast (21.6%) for the first time ever.
Everyone remembers when streaming first started, you would see the same national ads repeating over and over – like some from the big insurance brands who were the early movers and big spenders. Repeating ads with no competitive separation led to poor viewing experiences, low performance for advertisers, and a distrust of OTT.
Direct, local OTT gives us control over that. It gives political marketers control over that. We can set frequency caps, recency caps, ensure competitive separation, target the right audience and deliver an experience that feels like television – because it IS television. It creates a personalized experience. This is why our publishers work with us and agree to the partnerships that we have in place – because local retains subscribers and grows viewers.
Question: Why should Political campaigns work with Gamut?
We understand political marketers work dynamically. As such, we do too. We have a staff of political buying and operations experts – some that have even bought Gamut specifically for political campaigns because they saw the value in how we operate … and more importantly, how we deliver.
We have our inventory secured with our publisher partners, so all political campaigns can get it at a moment’s notice and exercise their full budget – at a time when every voter impression matters.