More than 71 million people watched the results of the 2016 election roll in, across a host of broadcast and cable networks, in what has been called the most-watched election cycle in history. If these viewership numbers are any indication, Donald Trump’s upcoming presidential inauguration on January 20 should be one of the highest-viewed in recent memory.
According to Nielsen, President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009 was watched by almost 37.8 million people. It was beat only by President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration in 1981, which garnered more than 41.8 million viewers.
Just like election night, the inauguration will have big implications for advertisers both local and national. Live events tend to gather people of all viewpoints. A huge range of demographic groups and audiences, whether they’re Trump supporters or Trump haters, will be tuning in to watch the presidential inauguration.
With the inauguration airing on cable and broadcast networks, advertisers will have multiple chances to reach their target audiences. During the election itself, a heavy focus was shifted to middle America and its influence on the nation’s political climate.
Since these markets had so much pull during the election, the same is likely true for advertising going forward. The presidential inauguration will be a great way for advertisers to get their messages out to new, highly influential local audiences that may have been overlooked in the past, or deemed lower priority.
The real challenge for advertisers will come from overall demand. While local and national feeds on multiple networks will have spots available, the chance to expose important audiences to advertising will surely drive up prices. It will be interesting to see which advertisers come out on top!