(CNN) – Presidential candidates are sold in much the same way a new product is: with an expensive, flashy, and ubiquitous television campaign.
And according to advertising figures provided by Campaign Media Analysis Group, CNN's consultant on ad spending, Barack Obama's campaign has spent more money selling its candidate on television than most major brand name companies do selling their products.
The Illinois senator's campaign is projected to have spent $250 million on ads in the last four months - a number that is equivalent to $750 million in a full year. Only AT&T, with a yearly advertising budget of about $1.3 billion, and Verizon, which shells out $950 million a year on ads, spends more than the Democratic presidential nominee.
But most major companies spend far less than Obama, including McDonald’s ($588 million), Sprint PCS ($482 million), T-Mobile ($404 million), Target ($388 million), and Wal-Mart ($335 million).
John McCain is projected to have spent about $110 million since the general election began.
"This advertising spending by Obama is big, and not just in terms of presidential politics but in terms of all commercial advertising – he has spent enough to be a mega-brand," CMAG's Evan Tracey said.
Obama's massive advertising budget is also a stark reminder of just how much it costs to finance a modern presidential campaign — and, predicts Tracey, it could just end the era of public financing.
"If Obama wins it is clear that the days of being on public financing are over and anyone thinking of running for president in four years will have to ask themselves one question before jumping in – Can I raise $600 million?" said Tracey.
glad to see my donations being put to good use!
Soooo if thousands donate to your campaign, are you supposed to not use it in your campaign, for electing the president they want? Shoukd he just keep it? They should ask Obama donors (most of them average Americans, not like McCain full of money donated by lobbies and especial interest groups) if the money shouldn't be used to for the campaign. If McCain's campaign would have more resources than Obama then they wouldn't be whining so much... they are jealous, like sore-losers jealous. Go OBAMA/BIDEN!
That's power FROM the people. It's not magic that McCain hasn't raised nearly as much, and though it was mishandled it shows Obama obviously knew what he was doing neglecting public financing, seems to be working in his favor.
Yes Abby I just saw that on CNN TV as I was reading the ticker here. Good Job Johnny boy, now your supporters are sinking to your level. People of the lowest denominator often gravitate toward people of the lowest common denominator :)
What would you expect? It's the most talk-about US election ever...so everything has to exceed expectations!
@KC....."Millions of dollars to lie. Wow! Incredible in these very low times."
The money Obama is spending has been provided by people like myself who contribute to his campaign. He is not spending the taxpayer's money like McCain. So he has the right to spend it any way he sees fit.
On the other hand, "Spend, spend, spend". Just what do you think the republicans have been doing the past 8 years, saving money LOL!
The more ads, the better. The more ads, the more comfortable people get with his name, his face, his policies, his intellect. Go Obama.
WHOSE PROBLEM IS THAT ?
WE THE PEOPLE, GAVE IT TO HIM, TO SPEND.
AS WE HAVE SEEN,AMERICANS CAN BE FOOLED.
BUT WE CAN NOT BE RULED OR GOVERNED, FOR
THAT MATTER. WE OWN THE GOVERNMENT. ELECTED
OFFICIALS WORK FOR US. THIS MAY BE A SURPRISE TO SOME.
BUT THE SLEEPING GIANT IS AWAKE. OBAMA WORKS FOR US.
I ABSOLUTELY don't blame Obama's campaign for this after so many robo-calls and very negative ads FULL OF SMEARS, trying to link and exaggerate his relationship with "shady" people... Obama is just trying to secure this election and fight back If THOUSANDS of his supporters gave him the money it is because they believe in his cause... WHY NOT USE THE RESOURCES FOR THE CAUSE THAT THEY BELIEVE??? Lets finish this and get Obama elected!
Yea well my pick for president is much more important than my pick of cell phone service provider.
Kerry did not spend enough you guys complained, Obama is spending enough and you guys still complain, I guess no one can win here. Seems to me someone's desperate for a story.
It's terrible that Obama's grandmother is ailing and it is reported that she may not live to see Nov. 4th, but why would he be hitting the campaing trail so quickly again tomorrow and why are his wife and daughters not in Hawaii with Obama? Doesn't family come first above all else? If it were my grandmother, my whole family would be there spending as much time as we could. So much for family values and what is really important.....
Actually its my money he is spending, not yours. And I will give him more.
The future seems bright. Get your shades.
Let's not compare Apples and Oranges. So McDonalds only spends 588 Million per year. The per year part is important here. These are companines whose advertising strategy is for the long term. They aim, in part, to create brand recognition over a long period of time. By contrast, political candidates are trying to get their identities out there and create recognition in a fairly short period of time. You also don't see these companies having to spend ad dollars responding to frequent, direct attacks on their own brands. Both of these facts make it hard to compare add spending of candidates to corporations, especially when you try to extrapolate the figures to some kind of made up annual figure. Sure, there is some room for debate about the amounts of money that have been spent on this campaign, but let's please keep the discussion grounded in reality.
Why is it that when Alqaida endores McCWar he does not agree with them but when they say the front war they war on terror is in Iraq he agrees with them, I dont understand the logic
He's spending MY money. Millions of other people from all walks of life, from all backgrounds, all ages have given money for him to BEAT THE HELL OUT OF GUYS LIKE YOU.
Deal with it.
Forget it Abby.... the lie and hox has already been reported on MSNBC among other places ..... yet CNN keeps the lie and untruth on the front page of the politics section.
Don't worry. If McCain could manage to raise as much money or enthusiasm as Obama he'd be spending just as much money on advertising. He'd also probably spend a few hundred thousand dollars more on clothes for his VP if he had the cash, since he's clearly of the opinion that a woman's appearance helps determine her qualifications as a world leader.
The fact is, however, that McCain doesn't have the cash because he's not really wanted by the American people. He hasn't compelled them, and he hasn't effectively led his own campaign. The fact that he can't come up with enough cash to compete doesn't make me feel very confident that he'll know where to get the cash to run our country either.
That's because there are many of us out here that donate what we can on a regular basis because we KNOW that this country needs new leadership
Obama must spend that much so that he can hammer home the message. No one will believe it if he only tells a lie a few times. But if ignorant people keep hearing a lie over and over...soon they'll begin to belive it. It's called propoganda.
What if McCain was able to raise the same amount of funds that Obama has raised? Do you think McCain would be spending the same amount on advertising?
But what is more important?
1 Who spends more on advertising? Or
2 Who spends most of their advertising dollars on positive ads that address real issues?
doesn't this just confirm how much the people want change? since all his ad money comes from donation?
People who wanted change paid for the adverts.
I don't see that there is a problem with the Obama campaign spending money that was donated to the campaign on ads. Aren't ads what we expect campaign funds to be spent on instead of $150,000 on clothing, hair and make-up?
KC don't be so stupid. The money was given voluntarily for him to spend.
If McCain had it, he'd be spending it, too.
Do NOT criticize Sen. Obama's spending of the money that WE donated to him. That is WHY we donated it to him, to use for advertisements and all other necessary items in his run for the presidency. Who cares how much he is spending? That's what the money is for.