October 11, 2020

Biden vs Trump: Who is Spending the Most on Facebook Ads

As the US elections are coming up, the internet sees more and more political advertisements. This year Trump and Biden together have spent more than 150 million dollars on Facebook Advertisements already, according to an analysis of data from Facebook’s Ad Library.

  • In total, the official Facebook pages of Trump and Biden are running 6.600 different ads as we speak.
  • Next to the official Facebook pages of Biden and Trump there are lots of third party Facebook pages that are also advertising on behalf of the two president candidates.
  • So far Donald Trump has created more than 660.000 different ads, whereas Joe Biden only created 60.000 different ads so far.

Who Spends the Most on Political Ads in the US?

We started measuring the ad spend on political and social issues at the beginning of the year. From that moment onwards Donald J. Trump and Joe Biden have been (by far) the biggest advertisers of Political and Social issues. On the third place we find the Facebook Page Team Trump. This page has also been advertising quite heavily in the past months but it’s still nothing compared to the official Facebook pages of the president candidates.

Looking at the spending behavior over time, one can see that Joe Biden was advertising quite aggressively at the beginning of June. In only one week the Joe Biden Facebook page spent 9 million dollars (almost 15% of their total budget) on Facebook and Instagram ads. Most of the ad spend in this period went to ads related to the George Floyd protests.

From July onwards the spending behavior of both Biden and Trump is following an exponential curve line. It looks like both of them are slowly building up their advertising spend towards the election day next month (the 3th of November).

Which other Pages are Advertising the Biden and Trump campaign?

Diving deeper into the data, we found another interesting insight. Next to the official Facebook pages of Biden and Trump, it seems there are several third party pages that are also advertising on behalf of the two candidates. As for the Trump campaign, we see that Mike Pence and Team Trump are among the strongest supporters with millions of dollars on ad spend. Just recently, we see that local pages like Trump for North Carolina and Trump for Arizona – and Facebook pages like Women for Trump and Latinos for Trump also started to promote the Trump campaign.

Moving on to Joe Biden: in comparison to the Trump campaign, the Biden campaign doesn’t have as many supporters in terms of ad spend. Only the Facebook Page of Kamala Harris just recently started to advertise on behalf of the Joe Biden campaign. However, still more than 95% of the ad spend is coming from the official Facebook page of Joe Biden himself.

Which Political Ads were Advertised the most?

Looking at the total number of advertisements that both President Candidates created, it’s interesting to see how much these differ from each other. For the imaging, Donald Trump has already created more than 660.000 different ads, whereas Joe Biden only created 60.000 different ads so far.

Daily Number of Ads Created By Trump and Biden in the last 2 months.

As a result, the average amount spent per ad for Joe Biden is relatively high in comparison to Donald Trump. The five ads displayed below are the ads that have been advertised the most by Joe Biden. Each of them got more than 1 million dollar of ad spend.

Moreover, below you can see the most used words in the advertisements of Joe Biden. Interesting to see here is that the ads of Joe Biden talk more about Donald Trump than about Joe Biden himself.

The greater the word, the more often it was used in advertisements.

As for Donald Trump, the amount spent is a lot more divided over the 660.000 different ads. The ads below have been advertised the most. But in comparison to the Joe Biden, the spend per ad is relatively low.

The most used words in advertisements of Trump are visualized below. In comparison to Joe Biden, Donald Trump talks more about himself than his opponent.

The greater the word, the more often it was used in advertisements.

Now, so far we have only been looking at the advertising behavior of political and social organizations in the United States. Let’s cross the borders and see how other countries are doing.

How much do Political and Social Organizations Advertise in Other Countries?

Because not only people in the United States have been seeing lots of political ads lately. In the past months the numbers have also been increasing rapidly in countries like Italy and Romania.

AR (Argentina), CZ (Czech Republic), DE (Germany), DK (Denmark), HU (Hungary), IN (India), IT (Italy), RO (Romania), SE (Sweden), TW (Taiwan).

Now, in Romania we see a similar situation as in the US. In only a couple of weeks the political parties Partidul National Liberal, Aliante USR PLUS and Partidul Social Democrat spent more than half a million dollars. Most of the ads in Romania were related to the municipal elections that took place at the end of September.

Moving on, in Italy it were mainly non-profit organizations like Save The Children Italia, Amnesty Italia and the European Parliament that were advertising heavily. Especially Save The Children was running a big campaign in September, in which they spent more than 600.000 dollars.

In our home country, the Netherlands, things have been relatively quiet this year. Vattenfal, Greenpeace and Amnesty International are the 3 biggest advertisers of political and social issues in 2020. The most active political parties in the Netherlands were Forum voor Democratie, VVD and D66, who all spent between the 50.000 and 75.000 dollars on political ads this year.

Biggest spenders on political and social issues in the Netherlands in 2020.

With the upcoming elections in the Netherlands on the 17th of March, we will again review the situation later this year!

Might you want to know more about the graphs in this blog, just reach out to us via and we can provide you with all the answers.