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Hillary Clinton VAB US Presidential Election

Study: TV ads in final week can be pivotal in deciding 2016 election


By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

October 14, 2016 | 3 min read

The current election cycle can’t be over soon enough for most people. The 2016 campaigns have been some of the most mean-spirited in modern history, with many dissatisfied and disgusted with their choices.

That said, there are still plenty of undecided voters out there and television may be the medium to sway their votes one way or the other, especially as it pertains to local elections.

According to a report, Winning the Undecided Voter, half of national voters and three-quarters of local voters can be swayed by TV advertising within the last week leading up to Election Day.

74% of undecided voters polled revealed that they typically make their final decision on whom to vote for one week or less before a local election, with 58% for a national election, according to the Video Advertising Bureau.

The undecideds in the national voter survey reported that TV is their primary medium for election knowledge, from awareness of candidates and issues to influencing the final decision. 65% of undecided voters said televised debates and political TV shows influence their voting, while more than half of voters cited TV as their primary source for political information, and more than 40% went online to research a candidate or issue after seeing a political ad on TV.

The study showed that the internet trails TV as a distant second, followed by radio, word of mouth and newspapers. In local elections, TV ranked first, followed by radio, newspapers, word of mouth and then the internet. Email marketing was the least effective in both national and local elections.

Only 21% of those polled researched a candidate after viewing an ad on social media, while 17% claimed to be influenced by YouTube videos or family and friends liking a political candidate on Facebook. Similarly, only 16% of undecided voters felt they learned more from radio than from TV ads, and nearly 50% said they threw away direct mail from candidates without reading it. More than 60% said billboards didn’t tell them enough about a candidate.

“The final stretch of this election will be televised like no other, and undecideds will rely on TV to influence their final decisions,” said Evelyn Skurkovich, vice president for strategic insights at the VAB. “While other media matter, TV captures attention and influences action for undecided voters more than any other medium.”

In less than a month, we’ll know the results.

Hillary Clinton VAB US Presidential Election

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