Political Advertising: The Next Great Voice Frontier

Last week Politico reported that pro-Israel groups spent $11 million on a TV adblitz “aimed at scuttling President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.” Regardless of politics, what does this have to do with voice-over careers? That type of spending is the next growth opportunity in voice-overs.

How Political Ads Have Changed

For years, political ads were construed as small potatoes. Most political ads ran in a single market and paid a single session fee. Compared to most products, political ads paid a fraction and--even worse--there was a long history of losing candidates that were running out of money and never paying their bills. Compound that with talent and agents not wanting their commercial voices associated with political causes, and voice talent had every right to be weary.

The Supreme Court’s decision on Citizen's United and the rise of the Super Pac changed everything.   No longer is money limited to only candidates, but every issue under the sun. For instance, AIPAC, the American Israel Pubic Affairs Committee, is one of the key groups mobilized against the Iran nuclear agreement. AIPAC, along with similar groups, is spending millions to oppose the deal.

Every Candidate Has a Super PAC

Candidates themselves also have Super PAC’s. Jeb Bush has stockpiled money for his presidential run, yet at the same time, Right to Rise USA is a Super Pac supporting him. Bush is already gunning for and dramatically outspending his Republican opponents.   In the meantime, he continues to hoard cash, and will begin spending when he deems the timing right and the market ready for his “personal” message.

What Does It All Mean?

The rise of Super Pacs means a greater volume of political spots in all mediums. Television is still important but the Internet has widened the market further and specific spots are customized to target certain audiences. The end result is that a single voice-over talent performing one spot for a broadcast market has morphed into two or three spots catered to a more narrow audience on the Internet or within a local cable system. Of course, a greater volume of work means more money, and unless we see a dramatic change in the law, there is no end in sight.