Few voters have anything nice to say about political advertising but candidates sure seem to like it! The 2016 campaign cycle is gearing up to be the most expensive election in history, with NPR estimating candidates will spend $4.4 billion on TV ads alone.
Jeb Bush has more cash on hand than any other candidate by far, with over $100 million of his funds coming from superPAC donations. It's allowed the Republican hopeful to unleash a flurry of television ads in key states like Iowa and New Hampshire.
All this extra cash means Bush is able to take cuts at Donald Trump in ways other candidates are unable to. Despite the Jeb jabs, Trump's campaign continues on its hot streak, but faces a legitimate threat in the rise of Ben Carson.
Carson's best-known ad thus far has been his campaign announcement video, a four-minute cycle of stock footage beneath a soothing voice over that builds to the kick off of his campaign.
On the other side of the aisle, Hillary Clinton has been working hard to distance herself from the controversies that her opponents have used to bring her campaign down. A recent ad from the Clinton campaign attempts to change the narrative by framing attacks from the right as nothing more than an attempt to drive down her poll numbers.
Clinton has raised more money than any other Democrat, allowing her to control the impact of criticism from her opponents in ways other candidates are unable to. The below ad aired as Republican leaders fought to denounce Clinton for her handling of the Benghazi attack while she was Secretary of State.
Hillary Clinton's biggest threat to winning the White House has been Bernie Sanders, who's message has resonated with Democrats as his poll numbers rise. Part of his success has been in motivating the young electorate and his campaign's ability to expand their advertising into the digital landscape.
Sanders' tendency to take long winded approaches to explaining his stance on issues has translated well to the digital field. Rather than summing up his stances in a 10-second soundbite, this candidate has been able to post his positions online. The video below explains Sanders' opinion on an issue that has been central to his campaign's message: income inequality.
The American people should get used to seeing these ads in the coming months as the election cycle continues to heat up, and not only on television. Campaign spending on digital advertising is also expected to be higher than ever before, creating a path for political ads to annoy us in new, innovative ways.