It’s Super Tuesday here in the US, when the largest number of states will be holding presidential primaries or caucuses. By tomorrow, the two parties’ presidential nominees will likely have secured their top spots, kicking off the scene for the race to November 5.

US election cycles have been a spectacle in the past few decades, and 2024 is shaping up to be an even more intense year. Not only will it be the priciest media buy to date, but consumers are more divided than ever — including concerning whether brands should play with politics or not. CMOs’ apprehension is echoed in Forrester’s Q4 2023 B2C Marketing CMO Pulse Survey, in which 82% of US B2C marketing executives indicated that they’re concerned about marketing their brand during the US presidential election cycle.

This Isn’t The Time To Bury Your Brand

If anything, this election year is an opportunity to bolster your brand’s resilience amid a political storm. Shoring up defenses in known weak spots can drive stronger marketing outcomes and enable your brand to stay “above the fray.” To prepare your advertising for a political stretch:

  • Assemble a response task force. This team is the “reactive” button to your proactivity. The cross-functional group is tasked not only with reacting but staying informed of any policy changes across buying partners and relevant teams — reaffirming the scope of existing policy and compliance teams.
  • Assess your current and potential partnerships. The risks don’t only live under your roof but under your neighbors’, as well. These partnerships span large and small and are inclusive of the influencers or creators that you use, along with media partnerships and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives.
  • Reassess your brand safety guidelines. Every election cycle puts new technologies and social media platforms to the test, and community guidelines and government regulations are typically slow to follow, so make sure you’ve dusted off and updated your brand safety guidelines and keyword exclusions.

These are only a few examples of what brands can do to safeguard their place in a contentious and expensive election. It’s important to note that these actions, while more apparent and important during a US presidential election year, should also be taken proactively to safeguard your brand from getting caught up in a PR or culture-war maelstrom.

Check out our full report, How To Advertise In An Election Year, to understand the four headwinds coming at marketers this year, along with a guide to safeguard your brand during this election cycle (and beyond).