As the political race heats up, we are finding that the ad creatives being placed tell a story about the candidate, their shift in campaign strategies, and how they position themselves against their competition. Using MediaRadar, we were able to look at ad creatives over time in order to figure out how their story unfolded. Let's look at Bernie Sanders vs. Hillary Clinton over the past year.
From June- September, ad creatives placed by Bernie Sanders promoted his many appearances at speaking events across the country. In these ads, some of the content was kept general while many of them promoted Bernie's policies and opinions.
In September, Hillary Clinton's affiliated Super PAC attacked Bernie after months of watching him surge in the polls. By the end of September, early October, Bernie responded with defense ads against Super PAC attacks.
By November, Bernie shifted strategies. He made it clear that he was going to confront Hillary in a "cleaner" fashion by differentiating his strategy from Hillary's. The ads changed to quotes highlighting the differences between Hillary's policy plans and his.
From what we could find, it seems as though Hillary did not place ads to respond to Bernie's shift in ad strategy. What we do know is that before Hillary officially launched her presidential campaign in June, she had already begun advertising in April. Throughout the year, ad creatives were mostly images of herself, ads promoting policy proposals, and fun campaigns like Mother's Day, her birthday, and "Dinner with Hillary."