It’s political season. But even if you’re not running for office, the sheer environment that is created by all that hubbub can have a big impact on your marketing – for better or for worse.

For starters, be prepared to pay more for local ad space – and get less. When it comes to politics and advertising, an increase in commercials and print pieces being run at the last minute coupled with more dollars that get thrown into mainstream media during the first two weeks of November mean shorter supply, higher rates and more overall clutter – for everyone. Be sure to steer clear of television and direct mail in particular during this time. You’ll pay too much – and get lost in the shuffle.

Also be more keenly aware of consumer sentiment, both locally and nationally. Watch for “hot buttons” that are arising in the major campaigns. It’s sad but true: things you would normally run without a thought may suddenly be caught in the crossfire of campaign issues, be misinterpreted or come across as insensitive. Try to get an outsider’s opinion on things that may have been previously approved before moving forward, just to make sure you are not inadvertently entering the fray on anything.

The flip-side of that: look for openings for your brand. Those same “hot buttons” could be opportunities. A gracefully planned social media post or hashtag usage could get you big points in visibility if your brand is properly positioned to take advantage of the times. Just make sure to vet these ideas carefully and have your social media team on alert for any potential backspins.

Speaking of spins, thinking of creating your own spin on the times with a campaign-esque promotion? Be careful – most consumers are already tired of the rhetoric long before Election Day. It’ll need to be particularly clever to keep from generating the inevitable eye-roll, channel-flip or skip-click … which means it must be done carefully and often with some degree of risk.

These are challenging times for marketers. But sometimes that’s when a truly creative and well-thought-out concept can really garner attention. Make sure your agency and team are both up to the challenge.

Still not quite sure how to bypass the pitfalls that politics and advertising can create? We can help. Give us a call today to get started on your next great campaign.