Flurry of campaign ads hit the airwaves -- why now? And how impactful are they?

NOW: Flurry of campaign ads hit the airwaves -- why now? And how impactful are they?

MADISON Wis. (CBS 58) -- You may be seeing more campaign ads on TV, and there's a lot more to come, even though we are still months away from the August primary.

So, why so early?

Since we live in a battleground state and have a competitive primary it's normal to see a flurry of ads from candidates who are trying to define themselves early on, said Eleanor Powell, an associate professor who studies money in politics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"The upside is that we will hear a lot from our candidates and learn a lot about them," Powell said. "The downside is that we're going to hear a lot, especially between now and the primaries."

Nonstop political ads are only going to ramp up this fall.

The Democratic Governors Association plans to spend $21 million on spots supporting Gov. Tony Evers, who's vying for a second term. Meanwhile, the Republican Governors Associate already started running anti-Evers ads. In September, RGA will spend $6.2 million but a spokeswoman anticipates more.

The number of campaign ads have increased over the last few decades and are now seen on a variety of digital platforms. Powell said that's because it's harder to reach voters today compared to 30 years ago when most people watched the same television programs.

"Some people don't watch TV and from a candidate's perspective, it's much harder now because you can't just run ads in one show and get everybody," she said. "Any one ad is not going to reach that many people, which is why we see this crazy flurry across media channels."

A common campaign strategy is to run ads close to the primary and general election. Research shows the effectiveness of seeing advertisements can fade pretty quickly.

"If you run an ad today, three to four days later the effect of improving name recognition just gets drowned out by everything else in people's lives," said Powell.

Millions are expected to pour into campaigns after each party holds their annual state convention in the coming weeks. It's when delegates vote to endorse candidates running for statewide office.

The endorsement plays a major role in helping candidates because it essentially gives them full financial support and resources from the state party leading up to the August 9 primary through the general election.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin will hold their convention May 20-22. Democrats will host on the weekend of June 24.

Recent Ad Spending in Governor's Race:

-This month, Tony Evers launched his first $3.5 million ad that will air though the August primary

-Tim Michels launched a nearly $1 million ad campaign shortly after he announced his bid in April

-A super PAC supporting Kevin Nicholson ran about $1 million on spots in April. Another group is currently airing ads statewide for a total of $500,000

-Rebecca Kleefisch has run three ads since January in the six-figure range. One is currently airing in Madison, Milwaukee and Green Bay markets. Her campaign did not disclose the amount.

Recent Ad Spending in U.S Senate Race:

-Sarah Godlewski launched a six-figure statewide ad targeting abortion rights shortly after the leaked draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion suggested Roe v. Wade will be overturned

-Tom Nelson released an ad this week targeting taxes generated for Fiserv Forum and Foxconn

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