Political TV ads: How important are they? - KOTA Territory News

Political TV ads: How important are they?

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The 2014 South Dakota state primary is just around the corner. So that means the airwaves will be filled with ads trying to persuade you to vote for one candidate or another.

But are they really effective?

Politicians use television ads as a way used to get the message out to a wide audience.

It's especially important in a state like South Dakota, because although there aren't a lot of people, there are a lot of miles between those people.

The amount of money a candidate has to spend on ads also plays an important role.

Bill Fleming, partner at Hot Pink ad agency, said if a candidate has a lot of money, television ads can be very effective. He said some candidates will spend around 60% to 70% of their campaign budget on television ads.

For a candidate who doesn't have a lot of name recognition, TV ads can make or break a campaign.

"Especially for a new candidate, they're pretty important. For name ID, recognition, and learning about the candidate. Network TV is still the best way to reach a lot of people quickly," Fleming said.

Former Rapid City mayor Jim Shaw says creative ads can work, but you still have to a clear message.

"I think you want to be as creative as possible without making yourself look goofy, without making yourself look really odd. But if you can say things clearly, articulate the issues as efficiently as possible, that will resonate with the voters," Shaw said.

Television is still the most effective way to reach voters. But more candidates are turning to social media because it's free and doesn't impact their budget.

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