The New York Times reports that the Barack Obama campaign will run a 30-minute ad on Oct. 29. The spot, which will appear in prime time on NBC and CBS, is the first 30-min. candidate infomercial since Ross Perot 's in 1992. One of the more interesting aspects of this news from an advertising perspective is the cost for the airtime, which--while undisclosed--is clearly significant.
Neither network officials nor Obama campaign aides would discuss the cost of the television time. An analysis of advertising rates shows that the price of the commercial time alone between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on a Wednesday night would be about $1 million. It was unclear whether the networks were charging the campaign for only that commercial time or for the entire half hour, which would cost significantly more.If nothing else, it's clear that the Obama campaign is in good financial shape as the campaign heads into the home stretch. Whether the 30-min. message will change anyone's mind is another matter, but it's always easier to script your own story than to let the media tell it for you--especially as all the undecideds start to decide.