October 30, 2019

New Digital Advertising Agency Narrative Launched by Mothership Strategies to Transform Democratic Paid Online Communications

Narrative to leverage deep campaign expertise to deliver comprehensive paid digital approach 

Washington, DC – Today, Mothership Strategies is launching Narrative, a go-to digital advertising agency with an award-winning team of strategists, creatives and technical experts providing strategy, production and buying for Democratic candidates and progressive organizations. As an established industry leader in digital fundraising, Mothership Strategies is poised to bring its results and authentic content to reinvent digital advertising and give Democrats and progressives a much needed competitive advantage.

“In order for Democrats to win up and down the ballot, we have to shift the paradigm on digital spending and targeting – putting real digital dollars toward persuading voters and ensuring we’re no longer missing large swaths of potential voters who haven’t been communicated with for some time,” said Andy Amsler, Principal at Narrative. Democrats are being outspent, outmaneuvered and outsmarted online. Narrative was formed to start solving this problem today.”

Narrative’s new analysis of how candidates are spending their advertising dollars unveils an even deeper digital divide among Republicans and Democrats than previously reported.  In analyzing an aggregate of 2018 Mothership Strategies clients who spent resources on both fundraising and persuasion advertising online, Narrative found digital paid communications accounted for an average of only 11.9 percent of total media spends.

Narrative also examined the closest U.S. Senate races in 2018 and found Republican candidates in those races spent more as a percentage on persuasion than Democrats, who spent a significant percentage of digital advertising dollars on fundraising in the most critical months of the election.  From May 2018 through Election Day, the following is a breakdown of the percentages of overall digital advertising dollars spent:

  • Arizona: McSally 97.7% persuasion, 2.3% fundraising; Sinema 62.8% persuasion, 37.2% fundraising
  • Florida: Scott 94.4% persuasion, 5.6% fundraising; Nelson 75.4% persuasion, 24.6% fundraising
  • Texas: Cruz 90.2% persuasion, 9.8% fundraising; O’Rourke 70.5% persuasion, 29.5% fundraising

“The conventional wisdom says campaigns are pouring a lot of money into digital. But the underlying truth is that a massive portion of that digital money is spent on fundraising, not on persuading and turning out voters, especially among Democrats,” Greg Berlin, Mothership Strategies Founder and Partner said. “Mothership is known for our record-breaking performance in digital fundraising and we believe the stakes are too high this election cycle to continue with business as usual when it comes to persuading and turning out voters through digital advertising.”

On digital targeting, research found large groups of voters – often low propensity voters and diverse audiences, who lean heavily Democratic – are missed when only using the voter file to target, which much of the industry does. Additionally there’s data proving how a different kind of messaging is needed to engage these voters. Narrative has found that running a full immersion strategy, combining paid digital with other paid communications and field programs, is the most effective way to truly reach all voters over the course of the election cycle and persuade disaffected and under contacted voters to become engaged.

“We believe we have something unique to offer and we want to raise the expectations for what a modern campaign can accomplish online,” Mary Bell, Director of Business Development and Client Success at Narrative said. “We’re ready to heed the lessons from past campaigns to deliver effective digital communications strategies that resonate with today’s voters.” 

Narrative, a division of Mothership Strategies, is a full-service advertising agency comprised of an award-winning team of strategists, creatives and technical experts building lasting connections with voters through compelling digital programs. We’re living in a digital world. If Democrats and progressives want to have a competitive advantage — and win up and down the ballot — we have to drive the online narrative. We are reinventing online advertising for Democrats and progressive organizations to do just that. 

Mothership Strategies is a full-service digital agency founded by Greg Berlin, Jake Lipsett, and Charles Starnes — three of the leading digital organizers in the Democratic Party. Our strategists have been at the forefront of executing high impact winning online campaigns for clients of all types, from political candidates running for office to committees and PACs to ballot initiatives and advocacy organizations. We understand how a smart, precise online strategy changes outcome. Through unparalleled data and targeting methods, rigorous testing and optimization, and best-in-class creative and copy, we’re rewriting the playbook for how campaigns are won.