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24th of October 2018


Conservatives start election advertising early with $2M campaign during major sporting events | CBC News

With a little more than a year to go before the next federal election, the Conservatives are rolling out a major advertising buy in an attempt to make Canadians more familiar with leader Andrew Scheer and what he can do for them.

The nearly $2 million campaign will run for four weeks starting Oct. 3, with ads — two English and one French — running during Hockey Night in Canada's coverage of the Montréal Canadians vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Calgary Flames vs. the Vancouver Canucks.

"We want to let Canadians know that there is a party and a leader who understands that it is getting harder to get by and get ahead in Canada these days, and that he has a plan to help them with that," said Brock Harrison, Scheer's director of communications.

Harrison described the buy as "significant" for a pre-writ period, and said it would be focused on a number of sporting events during its run.

Since becoming leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Andrew Scheer has worked hard to increase his profile with voters — but he still lags behind Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, according to CBC Politics' Leader meter. 

Scheer's approval rating according to the metric is 31.2 per cent, compared to Trudeau's 41.3 per cent. On the other hand, Trudeau's disapproval number stands at 49.1 per cent, compared to Scheer's 29.3 per cent. 

The campaign is costing about four times what the Conservative Party of Canada spent in all of 2017 on advertising. Last year, the federal Liberals spent $68,000 on advertising while the New Democrats spent nothing.

Targeting sporting events for advertising is nothing new for the Conservatives and the Liberals.

The Conservative Party of Canada is rolling out a major ad campaign to promote leader Andrew Scheer and what he can do for kitchen-table issues a year out for the next federal election. 0:30A tested strategy

During the 2015 federal election, the Liberal Party pre-bought significant airtime for election ads to run during Toronto Blue Jays games — well before the team's run of victories that saw it through two rounds of playoffs.

Trudeau had some pretty big baseball fans among his senior campaign strategists, including principal adviser Gerry Butts and campaign director Katie Telford.

The cable network that carried the games reported that the Blue Jays' playoffs delivered the highest ratings in its history. Sportsnet said Game 5 of the American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers, on Oct. 14, delivered an average audience of 4.88 million.

That put millions of voters' eyeballs on Liberal election ads bought at a bargain basement price. Sources told CBC News the Liberals paid as little as a fifth of what a regular playoff ad would cost.

The Conservatives also bought Jays ad time, but purchased it later and at a much higher cost, sources told CBC News.

The Power Panel discusses the Conservative messaging in their new ad campaign. 6:46Read More

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