March 3, 2016
We have a new feature on the Political TV Ad Archive: TV program names are now included in our data set. This means that in addition to knowing when, where, and on which channel a political ad has aired, you can also tell if it was played on “Judge Judy”!
We also offer an extra metadata field called “program type.” This reveals whether a given airing happened during a news or entertainment program, as determined by TV News Archive staff.
Now it’s possible to look for new types of trends around political ad buys. Some examples, just to get your brain started:
Q: Which entertainment programs attract the most political ads?
A: “Jeopardy,” “Wheel of Fortune,” “Judge Judy,” and “The Big Bang Theory.”
Q: How do political advertisers split their advertising time between news and entertainment programs?
A: Ads mentioning Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are split almost evenly among news and entertainment programs, but ads featuring Donald Trump and Ted Cruz favor news to entertainment in an almost 2:1 ratio.
When looking at specific ads it is possible to find some interesting outliers as well. For instance, Nearly 80% of the airings for this John Kasich ad were on entertainment programs:
While this ad by a super PAC supporting Ted Cruz was far more common in news than entertainment:
Q: What about sponsors?
A: Candidate committees seem to favor entertainment shows more than Super PACs do. Super PACs had a 2:1 news-to-entertainment ratio, while candidate committees had a 4:3 ratio.
Q: Which candidate has shown the most ads on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”?
A: Bernie Sanders, ironically!
There are so many more rigorous questions that can be asked against this new dataset, so go forth and analyze for yourself. Be sure to let us know when you share your results.