A poll of almost 40,000 UK residents of voting age that found that 69 percent of the British public haven’t seen a single video ad related to the Brexit campaign, according to new research produced by YouGov on behalf of TubeMogul, a video advertising platform. And of the the remaining 31 percent who did view an ad, almost one third felt that the messages were irrelevant or ‘did not speak directly to them’. TubeMogul say the Remain campaign is most likely to have been affected due to the fact it’s more reliant on support from younger, pro-EU voters.
Other YouGov research from February and March of this year looked at the the weighting of socio-demographics of EU supporters and likely voter turnout. According to the research, key Remain supporters (such as 18-39 year olds and London residents) are the same demographics that tend to consume media primarily online. According to Enders Analysis, linear TV viewing has dropped four straight years among 16-34 year olds, decreasing by 15 percent year-on-year. While younger consumers are still enjoying premium content, they are often choosing to watch content on other screens or via different formats, such as catch-up TV.
“This is a missed opportunity,” says Matthew Dybwad, TubeMogul’s Washington D.C. Based Head of Political and Public Affairs. “Too often, campaign media buyers run back to the notion of 1,000 gross rating points on TV as the only metric that moves the needle. They don’t always fully understand the power of digital to change the narrative.”
“Online video works. The Sanders campaign proved it,” continues Dybwad. “Sanders used powerful video creative to carry his populist message to channels where Millennials get their content: online, mobile, social and connected devices. He found a successful formula very early for digital fundraising. Converting target audiences into activists and donors with digital advertising is often far more attractive because startup costs are lower and it’s far easier to scale quickly.
“Despite the fact that staying in the EU is sticking to the known and familiar, it could be argued that the Remain campaign is actually the insurgent political operation because Leave is desired by conservatives, UKIP supporters and older generations. Relatively little online video exposure could therefore mean that the voters who would choose to Remain are being missed because they aren’t seeing the ads. This would have been especially important a few weeks ago in order to encourage registration and ‘get out the vote’ among younger, pro-EU demographics – and it’s just as important now.”
TubeMogul also note that the delays in traditional TV reporting many buyers may have no reporting on whether messages are reaching their target audiences until after the campaign is complete, which in some cases might even be after the election take place.
Digital is also suitably nimble for political advertising. For example, advertisers can change creative, messaging and content throughout the duration of the election based on a wide number of measurement KPI’s. This would be particularly useful for referendums, where campaigns are often run by cross-party alliances. For instance, if videos featuring David Cameron are generating negative response, it’s possible to remove the Prime Minister from the creative and replace him with Jeremy Corbyn.