Q&A: Political Media Buying Solutions Maximize CTV Investment

There’s still much the 2022 political cycle has yet to unveil, but advertisers during this midterm season are identifying strategies that will make the most impact for their clients. Al Behmoiras, Sr. Manager, Strategic Relationships at FreeWheel, recently met with colleagues from across Comcast Advertising, FreeWheel and Effectv, in addition to political agency clients, to gather and share political media buying insights to help clients win in 2022.


What are the biggest themes political media buyers should be mindful of this year?

Amid our discussions with agency folks, those on the sell side and media partners, all stated that linear TV will continue to capture a large amount of political spend this year. But there was one common theme among the agencies we met with: share will shift from linear to CTV in 2022, with most thinking the shift allocation of overall investment will be somewhere between 20% and 30%. This investment allocation is consistent with recommendations the Effectv team shared recently in the latest TV Viewership Report.


Does this share shift present any challenges for political agencies or their clients?

When planning campaigns that include CTV there are a few things to consider, for instance—how does an agency translate reach with linear buys that target age and gender, vs CTV buys that target age and gender but also target data segments? Additionally, forecasting incremental reach across linear and CTV deterministically during planning versus the assumptive expectations of audience extension can present some challenges for agency buyers. And finally, we at times hear this question around how can the agency integrate directly with their linear schedules and activate CTV self-serve with access to premium CTV supply and real time insights and reporting?


What solutions exist to address some of these challenges?

The FreeWheel organization is in a position to address the majority of the aforementioned challenges. FreeWheel’s View platform is currently used by 95% of political agencies in the U.S. to plan and place linear campaigns. We’ve also rolled out new audience-based buying technology that makes it possible for media buyers to plan and place linear campaigns in addition to crafting and placing CTV schedules within our marketplace. The new solution can ingest a live linear schedule and equivalize the audience, from age and gender based (linear), to age, gender, and data segment (CTV). Then, the technology helps the buyer craft a CTV schedule with access to premium CTV supply.


Apart from equivalizing audiences and scheduling what unique value does this capability provide?

Through this new solution, CTV campaigns can be targeted to only those households who have either not seen the ad on linear, or have seen the ad on linear a certain number of times. And, campaigns are executed through an intuitive dashboard.

As we approach 2H ’22, I encourage political media buyers to use FreeWheel’s new technology to maximize their clients’ CTV dollars with limited waste and using more data to identify their target audiences across devices. Insights gained from the platform makes it easier to find hard to reach voters across premium content while making smarter decisions with investments. The platform is in use today for political agencies and will be released for use by traditional agencies later this year.