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Media Ad Spend Adtech

AI political targeting comes to The Trade Desk as 2024 political ad spend due to hit $10bn


By Kendra Barnett | Senior Reporter

October 24, 2023 | 6 min read

New AI-enabled tools available to political media buyers through The Trade Desk seek to extend reach and improve frequency on CTV.

Collage of protest and candidate at podium

With the US presidential election right around the corner, the media landscape is preparing for an influx of political ad spend / Adobe Stock

The media industry is bracing for the upcoming 2024 US presidential election.

Today, demand-side platform The Trade Desk announced it has teamed up with Proximic, the programmatic targeting branch of adtech firm Comscore, to release a new suite of AI-powered political audience targeting tools ahead of election season.

Proximic by Comscore is integrating new political audience segments into The Trade Desk. Using AI capabilities, Proximic by Comscore creates these segments based on individual users’ exposure to both local TV and specific political campaigns.

These segments seek to empower political advertisers to expand their reach, improve frequency and increase their share of voice on connected television (CTV). Available at presidential, senate, house and gubernatorial levels, the new offering represents the first development of its kind in the streaming sector.

And it’s a timely development: political ad spend is expected to surpass $10bn next year – a 13% uptick from the 2020 election cycle – according to recent data from AdImpact.

“As more political advertisers look for ways for greater reach with the right audiences, digital advertising becomes a critically important component to media campaigns,” said Kevin Fisher, general manager of business development at The Trade Desk. “The open internet provides opportunities for political advertisers to apply more data to better understand what messages resonate with audiences.”

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Fisher stressed that the new audience segments created in partnership with Proximic by Comscore are a “privacy-centric offering” – a critical consideration amid growing pressure to put consent and privacy at the heart of consumer data-based advertising and commerce.

In its efforts to transition to a more privacy-focused future, The Trade Desk – like many other adtech firms – has developed its own proprietary cookieless identity solution (the most recent iteration of The Trade Desk’s solution is called Unified ID 2.0). The new Proximic by Comscore political audience segments will be available to advertisers in two forms: ID-based audiences using traditional identifiers but expanding to include Unified ID 2.0 in the coming months or ID-less contextual predictive audiences.

The Trade Desk and Proximic by Comscore hope that the new segments will help political advertisers improve their incremental reach on CTV, adjust frequency in accordance with a campaign’s linear media and increase their influence and share of voice in a crowded race.

As Rachel Gantz, managing director of Proximic by Comscore, put it: “Media buyers will now have the ability to extend reach and drive incrementality over linear to effectively compete in this hyper-competitive race.

“With the 2024 election season on the horizon and record-breaking spending anticipated. Proximic is excited to integrate our Political Ad Exposure segments into The Trade Desk to empower advertisers to reach political audiences in a privacy-centric manner.”

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