A Facebook friend chuckled recently, “Newt Gingrich buys full-page newspaper ad in New Hampshire criticizing Romney. Yeahhhh: I suppose if proposing those seven 3-hour Lincoln-Douglas style debates hasn’t won over the voters, full-page ads like it’s 1988 should do the trick.”
As retro as it may seem, the full-page ad might provide a decent amount of bang for the buck, if it gets enough attention and is repeated in enough media outlets. The ad did get about 310 mentions online.
According to the advertising department of the New Hampshire Union Leader, the ad ran in black & white in the print edition and cost $4,624.20. If a similar full-page ad runs in the Sunday edition, it will cost $4,907.70; adding color as in the version above would cost $615 beyond the listed fees. The weekday circulation of the Union Leader is 45,536; circulation for the Sunday paper is 64,068.
Longshot Republican candidate Buddy Roemer listed the cost of various forms of advertising in New Hampshire in a recent fundraising e-mail:
$1100 for one 30 second TV ad here in New Hampshire
$75 for one 60 second radio ad
$3.50 for one yard sign
$440 for 1000 stamps for mailings
$500 for an email blast to NH voters
$1500 for an auto-dial to NH voters
$2000 for GOTV activities
Presuming the Roemer figures are correct, the Union Leader ad cost the Gingrich campaign the equivalents of four television ads, 61 radio ads, or postage for 10,509 pieces of direct mail. (A friend in the political world told me he found considerably lower TV ad rates for a 30-second ad: $310 per “point”* for the Boston television market (which reaches into New Hampshire), $98 per “point” for the Portland, Maine market, and $82 per “point” for the Burlington, Vermont market.)
I suppose the coming days will show whether it was worthwhile, but it’s easy to wonder whether newspaper advertising can move votes the way television advertising does . . . or whether it’s just preaching to the choir (the Union Leader endorsed Gingrich fairly early).
Newt is putting the same message on television this morning:
* UPDATE: What is a point? A friend in the political communications world sends along this explanation:
Gross rating point (GRP) is a term used in advertising to measure the size of an audience reached by a specific media vehicle or schedule. It is the product of the percentage of the target audience reached by an advertisement, times the frequency they see it in a given campaign. For example, a TV advertisement that is aired 5 times reaching 50% of the target audience, it would have 250 (GRP = 5 × 50%) i.e., GRPs = frequency × % reach. To arrive at your total gross rating point s, add the individual ratings for each media vehicle you are using. You can also calculate GRP by dividing your gross Impressions by the population base and multiplying the answer by 100. GRPs are also used by broadcasters to sell their advertising space to potential customers.