The Republican presidential candidates are spending heavily on digital marketing early in the campaign cycle to attract donors and voter interest.
- In recent weeks, former President Donald Trump has led the Republican presidential field in digital ad spending—shelling out $258,000 on Facebook and Google ads during the end of March.
- He ramped up advertising leading to his indictment between March 19 and April 7, compared to just $8,000 the three weeks prior, according to Axios.
- He is outspending other likely 2024 candidates, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, according to data from D.C.-based political advertising firm Bully Pulpit Interactive.
Why it’s news
As the 2024 presidential election draws closer, candidates are beginning to pour money into political advertising, including former president Donald Trump, who is using the same advertising method he used in 2020.
Trump has poured some $300,000 into Facebook and Google ads, outspending known competitors Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
He is using the momentum behind his recent indictment to release ads—the same strategy he used for the 2020 presidential election. His main ad focus is on fundraising while also boasting indictment-related merchandise and using his self-created mugshot to solicit donations, Axios reports.
While Trump is using his indictment momentum, his competitors are not addressing him or the indictment in their ads and instead focus on traditional fundraising messages. DeSantis is running fundraising ads that mention “liberal wokeness,” and Haley is running Google search ads focused on FEC fundraising deadlines.
Most of Trump’s ads are purchased by the Trump campaign’s political action committee—not his personal accounts. He was banned on most major accounts, though many of them have been reinstated over the last few months.
Trump was banned from YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more than two years, blocking him from releasing ads on his personal branded accounts.
In February, Meta Platforms reinstated his accounts on Facebook and Instagram, allowing him to begin running ads, and YouTube followed last month after the two-year hiatus.
“Trump continues to invest in his brand of fundraising and merchandising off rage,” says Bully Pulpit Interactive partner Mike Schneider.