According to a new report by Mixpo, the presidential candidates will have more than enough money and perhaps more than enough tech savvy to sell out video advertising inventory in the month leading up to the fall election. You’ll remember a while back I told the presidential campaigns to get on board with online video and video advertising. No, I haven’t been contacted by either of them yet, damn, that would have been a sweet consulting gig!

Mixpo took a look at the 2012 presidential campaigns and they say that the spending could be seven times what it was in the first presidential election in the era of online video dominance (2008). Borrell Associates predicts the campaigns will be $9.8 billion, 40% higher than the last presidential campaign year. Yowza! Perhaps it they turned some of that cash to actually fixing things, the country would be better off.

But I digress, this is about online video advertising, not the politics.


Mixpo assembled the numbers for crunching from various sources and according to the report:

The following analysis is based upon industry published projections, publicly reported video consumption data, and data modeling assumptions developed by Mixpo analysts. There are a number of factors that will determine both the demand and supply of political online video advertising and the numbers presented here are meant to be directional for those planning advertising during the fall campaigns.

October Scares Up Bit Shortages

We’ve already been inundated with political ads here in Wisconsin in the failed bid to oust the controversial Governor Scott Walker (who some believe will go to jail anyway). Since the recall was a close 53/46 split, you can bet we’ll be seeing a s–t ton of political video advertising here in the lead up month. According to Mixpo, “being a swing state in the presidential election, hosting a contested gubernatorial race, and having divisive state and local initiatives on the ballot will drive an influx of political advertising.” So where will there not be enough inventory to cover the political campaign demand? Here’s a chart with New Hampshire, Montana, Virginia, Missouri, Washington, Massachusetts, Indiana, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Florida, and Nevada.

Mixpo says there will be more than 80 million impressions unable to be fulfilled in October in these states and that is around 30%. Another 15 states could also see more demand than supply and the total number of unmet impressions could be 105 million across them all.

If you’re a consumer, you’d best fire up those DVRs with ad skipping so you aren’t forced to see the same ads over and over and over and over…or if you’re a Hulu watcher, keep a book at hand and a finger on the mute button, like I do (sorry advertisers, but it’s true and when they’re showing 55 ads per viewer per month, it’s well warranted).

November (brings the) Rain

If you think that shortfall in October was something, wait until November rolls around. The first week of the month is projected to see 40 million impressions unmet because the demand will be so ramped up and the heat will be on the candidates to get their message into the minds of voters who haven’t made a decision yet. Mixpo says that is some 56% for the 11 states in the chart above. In fact, they believe that 48 states will see inventory shortages of around 100 million impressions.

To me, this really just goes to show there is far too much money involved in the American political machine. In fact, I can even see it being detrimental to pretty much every other advertiser over the course of the fall. If demand is going to be this high, it’s going to drive up prices on the exchanges and pretty much box out many SMB advertisers and marketers for at least a five-week period.

Here’s what I mean:

Political Action Committees (PACs), “Super” PACs, and national political party committees are projected to spend $4.76 Billion on political advertising in the 2012 cycle.

Since there’s little to no regulation on their spending they will account for almost half of all spending for the campaigns. While that might be good for the ad networks and select publishers of content, like Hulu, for the majority of those doing regular online video advertising and marketing, it’s going to be like an online video advertising blackout period, unless of course you’re marketing to Idaho or Alaska, which appear to be the only states in the country that might have some video advertising inventory to spare. The worst place to try to advertise that first week of November will be California who is predicted to have over 10 million impressions unable to be filled that week, 10% of the overall shortage. Florida is close behind at just under 10 million. For October things are a bit rosier as there are 24 states with a projected surplus including Georgia, Texas and California. Even New York will have a bit of surplus leftover in October.

A One-Two Punch to American Online Video Marketers

So for five weeks including all of October and that first week of November, you might just tell your online marketing and advertising teams to…take a break and aim for more ad placements the day after the election. This will be especially true if you’re an SMB on a shoestring budget because you might not be able to handle the stress that the potential rise in prices could cause. It might even be best to make a strong push at the end of September and the lay low until after the election dust has settled.

For everyone else in the industry, like the campaign video producers, the actors who take on the roles of ordinary people in campaign videos trying to fool the voters into believing lies (yes, I said it), the video advertising networks, the major premium content providers… chum the waters, the piranha are coming to chew through your inventory. NOM NOM NOM!

Check out the full report at Mixpo.