Why Political Advertising Agencies Influence Elections

By Helene Norris

Advertising agencies are companies who specialise in the creation, delivery and organisation of marketing materials for their customers. They often do other work which may be required to raise their clients profile. Political advertising agencies focus on doing this work for electoral candidates. They are responsible for devising messages and delivering them. They want to influence who people vote for.

Sometimes they try to condense the political message into a powerful slogan. If done well, this can considerably increase a candidate's chance of winning. Famous examples of this include; "Yes We Can", used during Barack Obama's election in 2008. During Ronald Reagan's race to The White House in 1980, his campaign used the powerful slogan; "Let's Make America Great Again". In 1992, Bill Clinton used "It's Time To Change America".

Media buying is an important part of the work of an agency. This is about working out which media is the best for reaching the target audience and delivering the correct message to them. A good agency will have experience of doing this not just in politics but in other sectors such as business. This sort of knowledge will help build the candidate's brand more effectively.

Lots of agencies offer their clients a market research service. This can be important because it's help in deciding the best strategy for the candidate to reach their target audience. The research often includes an analysis of the targets in order to figure out whether a strategy will be effective or not. The objective of the market research is to find niche markets and get a detailed picture of their characteristics.

A lot of agencies provide a video producing service for their customers. This will usually include a scriptwriter along with a full filmmaking crew. They try for the highest quality of production possible. Youtube has grown in popularity over the last few years, so creating videos for campaigns has become an effective way of communicating the candidates message.

With the growth of websites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, social media marketing has become very important for politicians. Typically, an agency will develop a full social media marketing campaign for their client. If done effectively, this can spread the political message and win many new supporters for the party or candidate.

Search engine marketing is now a very useful tool as well. This would include advertising with Google. The object is to generate more visitors to the candidate's website and increase the number of people who are aware of the campaign. Even if the website is beautifully designed it will have very little effect if people don't visit it.

Many companies believe that political advertising agencies have a tough time compared to others in the industry. This is because political campaigns are only alive for a limited period of time, that is up until election day. Consequently, it is difficult to really build a brand. Also, they say that election campaigns are ego driven, they are about the candidates, and so designing clever advertising is a waste of time. On the other hand, agencies can make a lot of money while working on elections.

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