November 21st, 2016
Radio companies stiffened their resolve in competing strategically for election money in 2016. What they didn’t anticipate was an election unlike any other. So, what lessons can one learn when the candidate who was averse to ad spending still won? Perhaps the greater question is this: Will Donald Trump’s victory send an anti-ad message? The consensus is no.
For one thing, the Trump campaign was unlike any other because it reflected its enormously unconventional candidate, who set some kind of record for free broadcast coverage. And even when the coverage was negative—as it often was—the Donald appeared to be the ultimate Teflon man. “As PT Barnum once said, there’s no such thing as bad publicity and Trump proved that one right,” Press Communications CEO Bob McAllan says. “He couldn’t have gotten any worse publicity than he did, largely at his own making. But in the end PT Barnum was right.”
When it came to radio, Media Monitors data shows Hillary Clinton placed 14 times as many radio ads as the president-elect. Across all media, Trump didn’t spend nearly what his GOP predecessors Mitt Romney did in 2012 or John McCain in 2008.
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