Bush, Cheney the cable guys

By Geraldine Sealey
February 28, 2004 2:16AM (UTC)
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It's time for shock and awe, cable TV style. Bush-Cheney '04 plans to unleash its anticipated advertising onslaught next week on networks like MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, ESPN and the Fox News and Sports channels. ABC's The Note says: "The campaign will feature at least two English language ads (at least one of 30 seconds and one that will be a minute spot) and at least one Spanish language ad, with the potential for more. According to various Republican, Democratic, and television sources, BC04 will spend about $425,000 on cable networks MSNBC and CNBC, $650,000 on CNN and will focus $1.3 million toward ad time on Fox News Channel, perhaps a sign that the election really is a lot about getting out the base."

"An additional $800,000 will be spent to run ads on Fox Sports, mainly during NASCAR events, in an effort to reach out to the trendy swing group of NASCAR dads. But if you are a sports fan who's not into racing, you might also find BC04 ads on ESPN and the Golf Channel."


The New York Times quotes network executives as saying BC '04 reserved time from early March through May to the tune of $4 million.

"In buying cable time, the advertising team is focusing on a slightly older audience that is widely considered well informed. Although Fox News is generally thought to be more popular with conservatives than its competitors, network research has shown the cable news audience to be slightly more populist and conservative than those watching other programming."

"With Fox Sports, Mr. Bush seems to be aiming at "Nascar Dads," a theoretically swing group of middle- to lower-middle-class men in rural areas. A Nascar marketing brochure shows that its races draw an audience more Southern than the national population, with 60 percent men. Marketing material on the Internet says, "Nascar fans are three times as likely to purchase sponsors' products."

Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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