Oct 16, 2019


Author: Deep Root Analytics

ARLINGTON, VA (October 16, 2019) –Deep Root, an audience-powered analytics company that identifies audiences, analyzes how they consume media, integrates them into media platforms, and measures the audience impact of paid and earned media, is pleased to share key data and findings from an analysis of the advertising that aired during yesterday’s Democratic debate on CNN.

In our ongoing effort to analyze DC Influentials and the advertising content they are exposed to, Deep Root Analytics has compiled and analyzed both local and national advertising on CNN during in-debate commercial breaks and the hour following the debate. 

Data compiled here represent our newest product offering, announced yesterday: local cable ad occurrence data.  This new investment, in coordination with Kantar’s Media Division, tracks all ads aired on local cable on the top networks in the Washington, DC media market and produces a robust and previously unavailable data source that will deliver crucial insights to political, public affairs, issue advocacy and corporate reputation advertisers.

  • In total, CNN aired advertisements from 33 unique advertisers, covering a total of 55 aired spots during the time studied. 
  • DC Influentials watching the debate were exposed the most to ads covering the News and Media, which accounted for 14 of 55 ads (26%), though this includes CNN promos for their regular programming.  Sponsors here also included the Washington Post (2 spots) and the New York Times (2 spots). 
  • Beyond that, DC Influentials were most likely to see ads about upcoming film and TV releases (9 ads, or 16%), and 4 separate charitable appeals, including 2 from the Alzheimer’s Association and 2 from the Freedom From Religion Foundation
  • This was also a prime opportunity to reach DC Influentials on specific policy issues:  ads covering Energy, Healthcare and Immigration each aired 3 times. 
  • On ENERGY, there were two ads from the Competitive Enterprise Institute attacking the Green New Deal, and another ad from the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers on “unchecked ethanol mandates.”
  • All three HEALTHCARE ads were run by the Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing, attacking private equity’s roll in the medical industry.
  • There were two spots run by Numbers USA on IMMIGRATION that advocates for business to use E-Verify.
  • Perhaps most surprisingly, the other immigration spot was for a US Senate candidate in Tennessee, Dr. Manny Sethi.  It is uncommon that a candidate running statewide pays to air an ad outside of that state, but this may work as an attempt to boost both his profile and fundraising.
  • The most frequent advertiser was CNN itself, who aired 10 spots designed to promote its own shows across the four-hour time period studied.
  • Other notable public affairs and issue advocacy advertisers included an ad from Need to Impeach, an appeal from Rosario Dawson for DC Statehood, and a corporate reputation ad for McDonalds about its tuition assistance programs for employees.
  • Amazon enjoyed prime placement for its “Jack Ryan” promo, as it was the first spot aired in the first pod of the debate, a spot that we know to be highly viewed, thanks to the detailed viewership data we have compiled on the debate.  The best positioned public affairs/issue ad was from the Alzheimer’s Association, which was the third spot to air in the first in-debate pod.
  • The post-debate analysis is also a great opportunity for exposure to DC Influentials (we know from previous work that post-debate discussion can go a long way towards providing a polling boost) – the New York Times had ideal ad placement by getting the top ad spot immediately following the conclusion of the debate.

The data shows the importance that many public affairs, issue advocacy and corporate reputation advertisers are placing on reaching Influentials in the Washington DC market.  By better understanding the information environment in which they advertise, this data provides these sponsors with the complete situational awareness they need in order to make well informed strategic and tactical advertising decisions.    

To learn more about Deep Root’s DC Influential product, contact Chief Revenue Officer David Seawright at [email protected].


Deep Root is an audience-powered analytics company that does four things: identifies your organization’s ideal audiences, analyzes how they consume media for optimal advertising, integrates them into platforms for linear, addressable and digital ad delivery, and measures how your audiences are being impacted by paid and earned media.

We do this by leveraging our analytics, targeting and metrics infrastructure that produces a variety of highly accurate probabilities for every adult in your market on the measures that matter most to your organization. We then match those audiences to observed TV viewership data to create audience-specific TV ratings as well as into addressable and digital ad platforms for online activation. Our state-of-the-art targeting capabilities make your advertising plan more effective and more cost-efficient, all while providing clients total situational awareness by quantifying the audience value of paid and earned media activity.

To learn more about how Deep Root can help your organization, visit www.deeprootanalytics.com.