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Brief Published: 11 Dec 2015

US Election Campaigns: Digital Drivers

Hillary Clinton embraces selfie culture

US presidential candidates are taking their campaigns onto social and online media to reach Hispanics and cord-cutting millennials. Republican Jeb Bush and Democrat Hillary Clinton both shared Snapchat stories from their campaign launches, while Republican hopeful Donald Trump appeared on a Periscope mobile live stream that peaked at 7,500 viewers.

US millennials now have the largest share of the voting-age population, overtaking boomers. Digital video recorder company Tivo’s third Millennial Video Entertainment Survey showed that while 73% of millennial consumers still watch broadcast TV content, only 40% do so via traditional cable service providers. As this demographic favours on-demand video and other time-shifting habits, broadcast TV’s firm hold on advertising is beginning to slip.

Digital campaign spend for the 2016 election is projected to pass the $1bn mark – up from just $159m in 2012. Meanwhile, at $4.4bn, growth in TV ad spend is considerably smaller against 2012’s $3.8bn. In 2015, global TV advertising spend has fallen for the first time ever outside of recession years. In addition, The New York Times reports advertising research company Magna Global expects digital to overtake TV as the biggest global advertising category by the end of 2017.

These trends indicate that the US campaign landscape is a glimpse at the immediate future of advertising. Commercial brands should pay close attention to these high players’ wide use of platforms. This is especially important when it comes to addressing diversely segmented demographics. For instance, Hispanics now make up 10% of the US electorate, and 20% of the nation’s millennial generation. Their monthly online video consumption is 90 minutes longer than the US average.

While our Pop-Culture Round-Ups help you stay on top of online culture, you can read more on digital campaigns for mobile millennials in New Video Marketing Strategies and Visual & Social: Image-based Marketing. For industry expert opinions on how to navigate ad-blocking user habits, see Beyond Ad Blocking.