Aug 5, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden launches $280 million ad push

Close-in shot of Joe Biden's face
Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign is launching a $280 million TV and digital ad campaign heading into the fall, targeting 15 states with a message — delivered directly from Biden — about the coronavirus pandemic and the economy.

Why it matters: The size of the buy, which advisers described on a call with reporters Tuesday night, signals a campaign that isn't worried about burning through cash — and it may force the Trump campaign, or associated super PACs, to increase their spending in response.

  • The campaign is looking to develop multiple paths to 270 electoral votes to win in November, officials said.
  • Ads will feature messages delivered by Biden himself, rather than a narrator, to attempt to develop his personal connection with voters.
  • Many of the ads will focus on COVID-19, with the former vice president accusing President Trump of failing to contain the virus and its economic effects.
  • In addition to national ad buys, the campaign will place ads in Black and Spanish-language media.

By the numbers: The campaign will invest $220m in TV ads and $60m in digital advertising; Axios reported last month that Republicans had booked $145m in post-Labor Day ads in 11 states.

  • The $220m TV buy dwarfs Hillary Clinton’s $80m reservation in 2016.
  • Biden's targets will include Republican strongholds Georgia and Texas, but officials didn't disclose how much in those states.
  • Ads also will go up in battleground states that Clinton lost in 2016, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio.
  • And they'll invest protectively in states Clinton won in 2016 including Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Colorado and Virginia.

Go deeper: Biden's summer ad strategy

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