Registering 200,000 Latinx youth to vote through cost-effective digital ads
Voto Latino, a pioneering Latino youth empowerment organization, came to us with an ambitious goal of registering 200,000 young people to vote in the 2018 election — with less than four weeks to go. With voter registration deadlines rapidly approaching we sprung into action. In addition to hitting the goal of registering 200,000 voters, our core goals were to 1) rapidly test creatives and platforms to achieve maximum scale while keeping the cost per registration low 2) prioritize registrations from states where Latinos, especially young Latinos, could have a major impact on election outcomes and 3) build a high-tech voter registration operation to serve as a model for voter registration initiatives going forward. With the potential for Latinx voters to be a catalyst for political change across the country, we had our work cut out for us.
The campaign we built was nothing short of cutting-edge. We made some assumptions early on about the platforms that would produce the highest volume, lowest cost conversions, such as search and Facebook. But we also established a robust testing program to rapidly iterate creative across a variety of other platforms, like Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. The messaging we tested — to the tune of 300 unique creatives — ranged from high-pressure deadline-driven asks to empowering and optimistic appeals. Targeting was another major challenge we overcame. Where we could, we used in-platform audience data to narrow to unregistered young Latinos. But in other platforms, like search, we had to get creative — to reach primarily young Latinos in these scenarios we used a sophisticated combination of geographic, keyword and modelled audience targeting. We also built lookalike audiences from actual registrations coming in from Latinx voters in near real-time and marketed aggressively to these high quality universes. These efforts were backed by a meticulously executed chase program, complete with email, SMS and ad re-marketing to drive successful completions.
Latinos voted in record numbers on Election Day, double the amount from 2014. In total, Voto Latino registered over 202,000 people to vote. These new voters were concentrated in places where Democrats made key gains, including California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada. We weren’t just successful in helping Voto Latino reach its voter registration goal, we did it at the low cost of $6.50 per completed registration.
- Energize and turn out Democrats without stirring up Republican opposition
- Soften support among key Republican groups
- Convince enough Republicans, particularly women, to support Jones
- Innovative mix of voter and geo-targeting to maximize reach to Democrats, especially black voters
- Told the emotional story of the Doug Jones’ background through compelling video
- Cast a wide net with GOTV ads to capitalize on the surge in attention
- Strategic outreach to persuadable moderates and Republicans
- High impact rapid response to cut through the noise
- Victory in Alabama!
- 1 million voters reached
- 13% increase in voting intent from digital ads
- Record turnout of black voters