CASE STUDY

Doug Jones for U.S. Senate • Winning Statewide in Deep Red Alabama

Doug Jones’ victory in Alabama was historic. Winning where a Democrat hadn’t been elected to Senate in two decades required a cutting edge digital strategy — and we delivered.

Our unique combination of compelling ad creative and precise targeting worked. We needed at least 25 percent of black voters to turn out. On Election Day, they made up 30 percent of voters, higher than when President Obama was on the ballot in ‘08 or ‘12. In fact, every county in the state trended more Democratic from 2016. In a stunning rebuke of the Republican, women and independent voters voted for Doug Jones.

To reach Democrats,  especially black voters, without stirring up Republicans we combined voter data with meticulous geo-targeting to micro-target communities across the state, from urban to rural areas. Recognizing that black voters were multi-screeners — 67 percent use phones while watching TV — device targeting played heavily in our media strategy. We were also the first political campaign to use targeted audience filters on Snapchat from either party, pioneering the use of the social platform to reach young

Democrats. To soften Republican support, we targeted college- educated moderate women, affluent men, young Republicans, and moderates consuming fake news.

Our digital creative was impactful and told the deeply emotional story of Jones’ prosecution of the KKK, included personal appeals on kitchen table issues, and portrayed Moore as extreme. Rapid response video also played a key role in helping us cut through the noise in Alabama, particularly on social.

By Election Day we had talked to more than a million voters and our content was viewed 37 million times. Based on an analysis we conducted, voters were 13% more likely to vote and were 13% more favorable of Jones after seeing our ads online. Engagement with our content was high, too. On Snapchat alone, videos and filters reached over 329,000 people — in the two days before Election Day, nearly 70,000 people used our filter.

Our comprehensive approach to building an effective and efficient digital program helped elect Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate


Goals

  • Energize and turn out Democrats without stirring up Republicans
  • Soften support among key Republican groups
  • Convince enough Republicans, particularly women, to support Jones

Solutions

  • Innovative use of targeting to turn out Democrats, especially black voters
  • Told the emotional story of Doug Jones’ background through compelling video
  • Re-engaged infrequent voters by casting a wide GOTV net
  • Strategic outreach to persuadable moderates and Republicans
  • High impact rapid response to cut through the noise

Results

Victory in Alabama! 1 million voters reached. 13% increase in voting intent from digital ads Record turnout of black voters!