Political HD ads break records in Q4


High-Definition (HD) advertising has become an important factor for political campaigns this election year, according to the Q4 2011 HD Advertising Trends Report from Extreme Reach, provider of HD video ad distribution. The study shows that political marketers are turning to HD advertising in record numbers to help bolster political campaign efforts. In Q4, 35% of political spots were delivered to local TV media in HD, a tenfold increase compared to the same period a year before–making political advertisers the number one distributors by percentage of HD commercials to local TV media.

For this study, Extreme Reach analyzed data from more than 1,550 active television advertisers across 28 verticals, including political advertisers, and nearly every local and network television outlet in the US and Canada. The analysis draws from a sample of 155,500 standard definition (SD) and HD commercial deliveries completed from 10/1 and 12/31, 2011.

In the second half of 2010, political marketers were among the least likely to deliver their commercials in high definition with 3% of their ads distributed in HD. Only one year later in the second half of 2011, that picture looks significantly different with 32% of political commercial deliveries in HD.

Over the last year, three patterns have converged to help political advertisers distribute TV ads in HD:
• HD expansion brings greater impact to small medium and local markets: Although broadcast media in some small, more rural markets continue to receive commercials primarily in SD, a significant number now accept HD advertising. Often the political battleground for presidential campaigns, advertisers are turning to HD formats to differentiate and strengthen a candidate’s message in these areas as a result of recent rapid HD adoption by local TV media.

• Speed, responsiveness unhampered by HD advertising: New cloud-based advancements in ad distribution enable advertisers to deliver HD commercials to broadcasters within minutes, rather than days. For competitive political ads, speed in responsiveness and rebuttal is essential.

• Higher commercial quality increases ROI: Political commercials must be visually impactful to resonate with audiences. According to the findings, 76% of advertisers agreed that HD enables advertisers to stand out and gives them a competitive edge. In addition, 91% agreed that the higher quality of HD improves the perception of the candidate or cause.