TV Ad Insights from Election Week 2020

Inside the Report

With several key states going down to the wire in the 2020 U.S. presidential race, election night quickly turned into election week. And with that, cable news became the go-to hub for information from anxious viewers. As one would expect, ad impressions followed suit, with CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC increasing impressions by nearly 3x over the same time period (Nov. 3-7) last year.

Brands typically shy away from politics, but those that appeared during the politically-focused programming of election week reaped the benefits. During the five-day stretch, insurance ads on cable news networks were seen more than those from any other industries. Auto & general insurance led the way with over 1.04 billion impressions, while health insurance was second, with nearly 700 million. Health insurance isn’t typically active on TV, however, open enrollment and the election helped lead to a spike.

Impressively, CNN not only won the impression battle among cable news networks during election week, but all TV networks. With well over 10 billion ad impressions from Nov. 1-7, CNN had 2 billion more than the next network — this despite others airing election, NFL and college football coverage during the timeframe.

As a standalone event, election day/night (Nov. 3) also extended well beyond the cable news networks, with 3.4 billion TV ad impressions coming from coverage across ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NBC and more.

Brands also got involved in the election in the lead-up to ballots being cast as well. Brand and network spots for voting-centric ads led to over 4.4 billion TV ad impressions between Oct. 1 and Nov. 3. Facebook’s “Voting Information Center” spot made up nearly half of those.

Want to see more about how certain brands embraced increased viewership for election week 2020, and found more impressions on cable news? Download iSpot’s newest report.

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