Apr 11, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump pours money into digital ads ahead of 2024

Data: Bully Pulpit Interactive; Chart: Axios Visuals

Donald Trump has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Facebook and Google ads in recent weeks, leveraging the chaos around his indictment to fundraise and collect data ahead of his 2024 run.

Why it matters: Trump used the exact same playbook ahead of the 2020 election.

Details: Trump is outspending likely 2024 rival Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, the only other candidate to officially announce a 2024 run, according to data from DC-based political advertising firm Bully Pulpit Interactive.

  • Trump substantially ramped up advertising leading up to his indictment, spending roughly $258,000 between March 19 and April 7, compared to just $8,000 the three weeks prior.
  • The main focus of Trump's ads is fundraising, mostly by hawking indictment-related merchandise, and using his fake mugshot to solicit donations.

Between the lines: Neither Haley nor DeSantis is addressing the indictment in their ads, opting instead to focus on traditional fundraising messages.

Be smart: Most of Trump’s ads are being bought by the Trump campaign's political action committee, not his main social media accounts that have been restored in recent months.

  • YouTube lifted its restrictions on former President Trump's channel last month after two years, allowing him to run ads from his account again.
  • Meta reinstated Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts in February following a two-year suspension that also prohibited Trump from running ads.

The big picture: No major Democratic contender, including President Biden, has officially entered the race yet, and none is yet running a meaningful digital ad campaign pegged to the 2024 election.

  • The Biden Administration is leaning into influencers to spread its messages from The White House, Axios Sophia Cai reported.

The bottom line: “Trump continues to invest in his brand of fundraising and merchandising off rage,” said Bully Pulpit Interactive partner Mike Schneider.

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