Why Marketers Choose Public Media During Election Seasons

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As the 2024 election gears up, industry experts forecast that political advertising spending will soar to a record $10.2 billion across TV, radio and digital platforms. For marketers, the surge of political ad clutter creates numerous headaches:

  • Market Saturation and Ad Fatigue
    The flood of political ads oversaturates the market, resulting in audience fatigue. Consumers tend to tune out. With limited space and less responsive audiences, non-political marketers struggle to capture attention and connect.

  • Increased Cost
    As demand for ad space increases, the cost also rises, adding to the challenge to be heard and remembered.

  • Brand Risks
    Research shows a 34% reputation hit to brands aired adjacent to political ads.


Public Media Doesn’t Have Political Ads

People see NPR and PBS stations as sanctuaries from political hype, vitriol and bias, tuning in for factual, in-depth election coverage and civil dialogue.

Public media’s environment ensures that your brand is not just another voice in the cacophony of political messages. Rather, your association with respected content makes a distinct, positive impression on audiences.

Additional benefits include:

  • Built-in Audience Trust
    Because of the Halo Effect, an impressive 72% of NPR listeners have a more favorable view of brands that support public radio, translating into enhanced brand loyalty and trust. Furthermore, PBS has retained its status as number one in Public Trust for 20 years. 

  • Engagement with Action-takers
    Public radio listeners are not just passive consumers; 84% have acted in response to sponsorship messages. 68% prefer to purchase from public radio sponsors. They are also more inclined to share recommendations within their professional and personal networks. Additionally, 63% of public TV viewers say sponsor messages are easier to remember. 

  • Exclusive Share-of-voice
    Not only will your brand never air alongside political ads, you won’t air alongside your competition. Most public media stations air just a few minutes of marketing messages per hour. Audiences don’t tune out during breaks, making messages more likely to be heard and remembered. 

  • It’s Marketing and Goodwill
    When you spend your marketing dollars on a public media platform, you’re also giving back. Since the stations are nonprofit, your spend helps to fuel local journalism, educational programming, entertaining shows and more. This positive association further earns trust and corporate goodwill — helping your brand to grow not only in recognition but also in respect.  

  • Amplified Digital Reach
    Beyond the airwaves, public media stations across the country offer marketers the opportunity to further amplify their reach digitally through podcasts, website ads, videos, email blasts, social media and more.


Next Steps

The 2024 election season highlights public media’s unique ability to successfully connect brands with receptive audiences outside the political ad battlegrounds.

If you’re interested in learning more about effective marketing opportunities tailored to your brand and budget, we invite you to get in touch below. We look forward to making a difference for your brand and the public media mission, together.

Sources: AdImpact 2023-2024 Political Cycle Spending Projections Report; J. Walter Thompson, Forethought, Survey Sampling International; Kantar / Lightspeed Research, NPR State of Sponsorship Survey, Jun 2023; Marketing & Research Resources, Inc., Jan 2023; Kantar SGPTV, US Video Audience Insights, 2023

Let’s Work Together

Whether you’re interested in sponsoring one of our public media stations or learning more about turnkey sponsorship representation for your station, we can help. Complete the form, and we’ll be in touch soon.

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