Smart Media Group obtained the public files from the television stations in Washington, DC and Richmond, VA in order to determine how political candidates and issue groups were spending money on advertising in Virginia for the 2009 gubernatorial primary. Our goal was to determine how much money each candidate spent in each market and how many gross ratings points they achieved.
Candidate Spending in Richmond, VA: WRIC-TV, WRLH-TV, WTVR-TV, and WWBT-TV
Bob McDonnell consistently paid the lowest cost per point each week out of all the candidates who advertised during the Virginia Primary. He paid an average $53 CPP each week, achieving around 670 GRPs each flight during his first three weeks on air. Overall, he spent $156k and gained a total of 2,967 GRPs from 5/4-6/9.
Terry McAuliffe paid a higher cost per point for advertising. More inconsistent in each flight than McDonnell, McAuliffe paid an average of $62 CPP per week. But with $286k to spend in the market, he achieved the most GRPs out of anyone – a total of 4,631 GRPs.
Creigh Deeds paid the highest cost per point out of all the candidates, averaging $66 CPP. He also proved inconsistent in comparison to McDonnell each week. Deeds spent $192k in Richmond and achieved 2,895 GRPs.
As an issue group, Common Sense Virginia paid a much higher cost per point than any of the candidates. They paid an average $92 CPP each week, spending a total of $186k and gaining a total of 2,021 GRPs.
These charts detail each candidate’s gross ratings points, monetary spending, cost per points, and total spots purchased in Richmond during the weeks of 5/4, 5/11, 5/18, 6/1, and 6/8.
Candidate Spending in Washington, DC: WJLA-TV, WRC-TV, WTTG-TV, WUSA-TV
Bob McDonnell went up on air in the Washington, DC market the week of 5/11 and stayed up for four weeks until the week of 6/8. He paid the lowest cost per point in the DC market as well, averaging $430 CPP each week. McDonnell spent a total of $930,600, gaining a total of 2,163 GRPs.
Terry McAuliffe paid the highest cost per point – $808, nearly double of that which McDonnell paid. He waited until the week of 5/25 to go up on air, placing a total of $636k in the market and achieving 788 GRPs.
Creigh Deeds went up on air in the Washington, DC market one week before the election on 6/9. He placed $285k – half of his entire broadcast budget for 6/1-6/9 – in this one market. Deeds paid an average $594 CPP and achieved 480 GRPs.
These charts detail each candidate’s gross ratings points, monetary spending, cost per points, and total spots purchased in Washington, DC during the weeks of 5/11, 5/18, 6/1, and 6/8.