Pathmatics reveals digital ad spend of major parties ahead of the federal election

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• “We’re already seeing a huge uptick in political ad party spend”

With Australia’s federal election a mere two weeks away, Pathmatics has lifted the lid on where, how much, and what messaging our nation’s biggest political parties are spending their digital advertising dollars on.

It has revealed that:

• Clive Palmer has lived up to his promise of delivering the most expensive election campaign in history, spending over $8,000,000 on digital ads since the start of the year.

In an analysis of campaign messaging from April 10th, when the official election date was called and in the wake of the shock inflation result last week:

• The Liberal party initially focused its messaging on promises to improve the environment and help recover the economy. However, as of last week, it shifted gears to focus more on critiquing Labor’s track record around economic management, increasing their digital ad spend in the last week by 5X.
• The Labor party has taken a different tactic, with spend remaining steady throughout the period but with nearly 400 different creatives deployed, frequently changing its messaging to respond to the news cycle. This includes highlighting the parties plans to create more jobs, to calling out the Liberal party on false promises.
• The United Australia Party’s ads have focused on Palmer’s plans and credibility for Australia, rather than lambasting the competition.  

Analysing data from 1, January 2022 – 1, May 2022, overall party ad spend is as follows: 

United Australia Party
Estimate overall ad spend: $8,00,000+ (AUD) 
100% on YouTube

Australian Labor Party
Estimate overall ad spend: $900,000+ (AUD) 
Over 80% on Facebook

Liberal Party of Australia
Estimate overall ad spend: over $500,000+  (AUD) 
Just under half on Facebook

Eugene Du Plessis, Pathmatics ANZ regional director, said, “How Scott Morrison intends to manage the economy has remained a core element of The Liberal Party of Australia’s messaging throughout its election campaign with much fewer creatives deployed. However, as we edge closer to election day, The Liberal Party has begun to really up its ad spend, doubling down on criticising the Labor Party’s poor performance on key economic metrics and positioning Albanese‘s strategy as weak.”

“The Australian Labor Party has opted for a different approach entirely, ploughing their ad dollars into many different creatives in a hope these will stick with viewers based on whatever is dominating the news cycle at a given time. Their messaging has also taken several stabs at The Liberal Party, framing Scott Morrison as ‘uncaring.’

“We’re already seeing a huge uptick in political ad party spend – particularly across social media – as we approach May 21st and Pathmatics will be paying close attention to how messaging evolves over the next two weeks.”

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