In Campaign Ads, ‘Week One’ Is Still Months Away

by Nathan L. Gonzales June 19, 2014 · 3:53 PM EDT

It can feel like the 2014 congressional races have been going on forever, so when a campaign strategist talks about “Week One,” it can be confusing that Week One is still actually four months away.

Obtaining and understanding television ad buys is becoming an increasingly important part of analyzing House and Senate races. And deciphering the language, from gross rating points to designated media areas, is critical as well.

The National Republican Congressional Committee and the Democratic House Majority PAC recently released another round of television ad reservations for the fall. And the timing of the ads can matter almost as much as the amount of money behind the spots.

For example, if a candidate’s campaign, party or outside group talks about making a reservation for “Week One,” that does not mean the first week of the campaign. It actually means the final week of the campaign.

When making strategic decisions, most campaign strategists work backward from Election Day. So this year, Week One is actually Oct. 28 through Nov. 4. Week Two is Oct. 21 through Oct. 27, and so forth moving backward through the calendar.

For those of you looking to re-orient your calendar, this is Week 20.