Kelly Scott Madison

Winter 2016 State of Media



Winter 2016 State of Media explores the impact political advertising has on voters

KSM's latest research study explores what voters think about political advertising and its influence

Chicago, Ill. – 

Kelly Scott Madison (KSM) recently released its winter 2016 State of Media magazine, providing an analysis on trends in the advertising industry. The political marketing study, conducted alongside ORC International, contains a synopsis of consumer sentiments and perceptions toward political advertising. 

The winter 2016 State of Media offers more than 30 pages of editorial-style insight on an array of digital subjects, such as artificial intelligence, social search, online influencers and emoji marketing. This issue also details the introduction of sports jerseys advertising, along with providing a magazine landscape and cable battle update. In addition, this edition’s primary research study looks at the influence political marketing has on voters.

“Each quarter, the State of Media zeroes in on the topics affecting our industry,” said KSM President Joni Williams. “Political advertising is obviously a hot topic right now, and our recent study provides useful findings for both political marketers and those looking to avoid the noise. Social media is altering the way we discover brands, emojis are becoming a new language for marketers and artificial intelligence is taking the industry to new levels. Staying on top of these trends is essential for marketers to keep ahead.”

Political Marketing Study

As the 2016 election is quickly approaching, KSM and ORC International teamed up to uncover consumer sentiments and perceptions toward political advertisements.

“Our data supports the importance of traditional media coinciding with emerging social activity and proves an increasing desire for authenticity among candidates,” said KSM Vice President and Group Media Director Elizabeth Kalmbach. “Political marketers must up their game in both creative executions and branding in order to win today’s vote.”

Television is the most effective ad format for influencing voting behavior at 26 percent, followed by print at 22 percent and social media at 19 percent, while the most influential source of information on candidates overall are televised debates at 73 percent, with news media coming in second at 71 percent and word-of-mouth third at 62 percent.

Age breakouts show millennial voters are more interested and engaged with political messaging at 48 percent, as well as more likely to begin researching candidates earlier in the campaign process than other groups at 38 percent. 

Nearly a quarter of voters claim they know who they’re voting for without research, representing the highest answer percentage overall across all adults 18 and older. Nevertheless, voters care most about issue-based advertisements, which left 67 percent of respondents feeling positive about a candidate as opposed to just 7 percent who reported negative feelings after watching these ads.

To compare this year’s election to last, about a third of respondents believe online political ads will have more of an impact on their voting behavior, and more respondents are interacting with political ads on social media than before.

Other formats analyzed include:

Emoji Marketing (page 4)
Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Advertising (page 5)
Holiday Shopping Recap (page 8)
Unbundling Cable (page 10) 
Digital Influencers (page 16)
Social is the New Search (page 18)
Summer Olympics (page 19)
What’s Next for Magazines? (page 27)
Jersey Ads: Coming to a U.S. League Near You? (page 30) 

A digital version of the magazine is available on KSM’s website, or interested parties can request a hard copy by emailing their mailing address to with the subject line "Send winter 2016 SOM magazine."

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