Friday, March 25, 2016

We gotta pay Pat and Vanna

A Bloomberg article tells us what we already knew. Wheel of Fortune is the king of political ads. So far in this campaign cycle Wheel has pulled in $17.8 million of political ad money, seven times more than at the same point in 2012. Back then Wheel hauled in a total of $57 million, so we're looking at well over $100 million in this campaign.

The show's producers are hardly shy about the loot. Exec producer Harry Friedman boasts about the qualities which make Wheel pitch perfect for politicos. "We're reliable. Our viewers are very loyal. We're family friendly." Not to mention cash friendly.

I saw quite a few political ads on Wheel before the March 1 Texas primary. There weren't many close races in Texas, so I can only imagine the ad blitz in hotly contested states. "Candidates, super-PACs, and other political groups bought more than 13,600 spots on Wheel from Jan. 1, 2015, through March 1 of this year." That's a lot of spots, even for a cheetah.

Micro-targeting of political ads has become all the rage, but big buys on the old-skewing Wheel still deliver lots of folks who vote early and often. "The average viewer is 50 years old, and 70 percent say they always vote." So they'll always see lots of political pitches.

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