AdImpact, a leading insights agency, harnessed advertising analytics to discern that Kentucky Senate has the potential be one of the closest races in the country. The early fundraising numbers indicate that it will be a major focus for both parties in the battle for control of the Senate. Winning the Democratic nomination and thus the right to take on Mitch McConnell in the general, Amy McGrath has established herself as a strong opposition candidate with impressive fundraising ability. With the establishment behind both candidates, this race is sure to see a lot of advertising, and this week we decide to look at how both candidates utilize different advertising mediums to display their messaging.

Digital Advertising Intelligence

McGrath’s digital advertising intelligence highlights her strong fundraising push as $3.4M of her digital advertising budget has gone to direct response advertising (aimed at list building and fundraising). Towards the end of the primary, she did have to dedicate a larger portion of her advertising to get out the vote advertising as seen below.

In the early part of the year, McGrath’s messaging was focused on beating McConnell in the general, but she had to shift focus as Charles Booker presented himself as a real challenger to her in the primary. However, she still utilized a large portion of her advertising dollars trying to drive donations through messaging about beating McConnell.

In terms of overlap between digital and broadcast advertising, the overwhelming messages that McGrath ran were attack ads against McConnell.

On the other side, Mitch McConnell also brings strong fundraising to the election, having spent $2.3M on direct response advertising. These ads tend to emphasize McConnell’s experience and connect the Senator to Trump as seen below.

When comparing this messaging to his tv ads, McConnell doubles down on these sentiments further pushing his experience advantage and highlighting the bills passed through the Senate in response to Coronavirus. In more recent weeks, McConnell’s tv advertising has turned towards current events and responses to the protests going on nationwide as seen below.

Another aspect of McConnell’s advertising that he has leveraged in both digital and TV advertising has been responding to claims made by his general opponent. On digital, McConnell can run shorter versions of his broadcast ads and reach more targeted audiences. This is an important aspect of McConnell’s advertising strategy and can be seen in ads like the ones below. and

This will be a key race to watch in the Battle for the Senate and as such we are seeing a lot of money being pumped into the race. Both sides have implemented large fundraising pushes and are utilizing complex advertising strategies that involve a plethora of mediums to disburse their messages. Digital advertising gives candidates the ability to reach their base more effectively with more targeted messaging. Both candidates highlight an approach to advertising that is unified across the platforms, echoing their messaging across the multiple platforms on which they advertise.

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