Typically, a U.S. consumer spends 25 hours each month engaged with Internet media, versus over 150 hours engaged with television according to the Television Advertising Bureau.

In spite of this claim, it is undeniable that digital advertising will play a larger role in the 2016 election cycle than at any point in history.

A unique aspect of social media is that 86% of Smart Phone/Tablet Users are online while watching television. This creates a unique opportunity for marketers to communicate with voters through social media. It seems that Googling random facts, checking Facebook news feed and seeing who has tweeted in the past 30 seconds were atop the list of activities to do while watching, but strangely, a full 20 percent confessed to search for more information about a commercial they recently saw.  As a televised event is taking place this could prove especially relevant during debates and commercials providing immediate engagement.  YouTube and Hulu are commercial entities that will help to extend coverage, as well as Shazam and Into It which can provide viewers/listeners another way to engage in topics of political interest.

In the 2016 election, social media will play an unprecedented role because messages broadcast in this space are more easily shared among friends, and more likely to become trusted. About 37% of Smartphone multiscreeners are using their devices to talk about on-air ads they have seen, compared to only 18% of computer users and 16% of tablet users. Tablets become a greater second-screen force when the viewer is compelled to deeper drills like researching a product, propositions and candidates seen on TV or getting more detailed show / commercial information.

A 2016 study published by the Pew Research Center showed that Twitter users are 20% more likely to have attended a political meeting or rally and 50% more likely to influence someone’s vote than the general population.  Local and federal policy makers recognize that this active and influential audience uses Twitter as a forum to participate in the political process. All of the 2016 presidential candidates and over 80% of Congress use Twitter to communicate with their constituents. State officials Tweet too — voters can find more than 80% of their governors on Twitter.”

And while many fear that multitasking ultimately dilutes the effectiveness of TV advertising, these early numbers suggest the opposite effect. Among “four screeners” 53% were able to associate up to three advertisers with TV programs, compared to 46% of three-screeners and 42% of two-screeners.