In Northwest Indiana, union steelworkers put up a billboard for Trump 2020. In Scranton, PA, friends of Joe Biden said Scranton is Biden country (on a digital billboard displayed prior to a Trump rally there). Both signs generated press coverage. When Oprah Winfrey wanted to make a point about an issue important to her, she bought billboards; 26 of them in one market (Louisville), which made national news.
Since Labor Day, OAAA has been sharing current examples of political ads, showcasing important points:
1.) A variety of speakers communicate ideas, debate, and advocacy via out of home media (from Oprah to the local police union). Political speech is protected speech, thanks to the First Amendment.
2.) Political advertising is a growth category for out of home media, up more than 50 percent in the first half of 2020 compared to 2018 or 2016.
3.) Out of home media is an easy, effective way for local supporters to advertise their favorite candidate for president or local office as well as supporters of specific ballot issues to get the word out.
Click here for examples of political ads on out of home formats.
What motivates political-ad buyers? They want branding and name identification, and to issue calls to action, to criticize the opposition, and to advocate points of view.
Here are other reasons:
- To create buzz, generate publicity, and to populate social media.
- To target elites (such as the national political gatherings)
- To say “thank you”
- To display testimonials: Political experts say persuadable voters will be influenced by peers and family. In Pennsylvania, a billboard campaign for Joe Biden features endorsements from local citizens.
- To support/oppose local and statewide ballot issues
(Steve Richards of Mile High Outdoor and Pacific Outdoor is chairman of the OAAA Legislative Committee)