Fluent's completed polling of omnichannel marketing found Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump consistently almost equal on ad recollection, despite the disparity in spending.
Fluent had been tracking consumer interactions with each candidate's advertising and news appearances since the general election began in earnest around May.
The prevailing wisdom—mostly backed by hard facts—was that Clinton grossly outspent Trump, but that Trump benefited from a massive amount of earned media on television, with the media even covering a press conference for his new hotel.
Maybe Democrats reading more about Hillary and Republicans read more about Trump, said Fluent CMO Jordan Cohen.
The closeness in ad recollection despite the disparity in spending was another surprise.
The big takeaway was that Trump was able to keep it close on the ad front despite not spending at all, Cohen said.