Securing a supermajority for Democrats in the New Mexico State House with customized creatives, tailored to individual candidates and districts
The New Mexico State House was flipped to Democratic control in 2016, and in 2018, the caucus had ambitious plans to push for supermajority control, but needed to flip an additional net 9 seats to make that happen. That would be hard enough, but the Democrats also had to defend several incumbents and were going to be seriously outspent by the GOP.
The caucus determined that there were 9 districts that would benefit most from heavy digital campaigns, but we needed to figure out a way to beat each entrenched GOP incumbent and protect each Dem, since each race had its own unique set of local issues, personalities, and needs. Typical inside-the-beltway style generic ads simply wouldn’t cut it in these extremely independent and diverse districts.
The coordinated campaign’s goal was to introduce each of these 3 challengers to the voters in their districts and build name recognition by creating a separate brand for each of them, uniquely tailored to the demographics and contours of their districts. We also needed to remind voters in the 6 Dem-held districts why their Representative was the best choice.
To make this case, we developed several different flights of digital display, video, and social ads for each candidate that focused on their individual profiles and the issues important in each of these diverse districts. We began the program 60-days out from Election Day to maximize impact, and be most efficient with our budget. We surrounded our targeted voters for the final weeks of the campaign rotating creative frequently to keep the message fresh, touch on several key issues, and make sure we built the candidates’ strong brands.
The recipe for success for Facebook advertising is to reach a highly targeted audience the optimal number of times within a certain time period. EccaNova’s digital advertising team ensured this with advanced, award-winning Facebook advertising technology that goes above and beyond best practices. With Facebook ad campaigns, we can guarantee reach and frequency of ads served to a laser-focused audience.
For each of the targeted districts, we layered image and video ads, rotating the creatives frequently to keep the message fresh, touch on several key issues, and make sure we built the candidates’ strong brands.
Check out just a few of the ads that we created for Facebook:
The audience that were served the ads were created using geo location and interest targeting. The client, New Mexico State House Caucus, also gave us a supporter list for each district to match and we were able to create lookalike models off of that matched list, resulting in highly targeted ads being served to voters for maximum impact.
Programmatic bidding ensured that the client’s campaign budget was spent in the most effective way possible.
For this campaign, we selected two main targeting methods:
Geo Targeting: Geo-targeting refers to the practice of delivering different content or advertisements to potential voters based on their geographic locations. For this campaign, we targeted each ad to the zipcodes in the coordinating State House districts
Pre-roll videos are a lot like the previews before a movie. When you go to the theater or put on a DVD at home, you sit through ads for other movies and shows that might interest you. Pre-roll videos work the same way. It consists of a short ad that plays before the video begins. Video pre-rolls allows the candidates to get in front of an already attentive audience. People who view the ad have already decided to watch a video, so this means you already have their attention by default.
For this particular campaign, we layered in non-skippable 15 sec. videos with skippable 30 sec. videos, with each of the videos linking to each candidate’s website. Much like the programmatic display ads, we targeted the pre-roll ads with contextual targeting and geo-location targeting.
Of the 9 races we worked in, ALL 3 challengers beat their GOP incumbent and flipped those seats. We also successfully defended 5 of the 6 Democratic incumbents, the one loss was by just 24 votes.
Overall, the caucus significantly increased its margin in the chamber, securing a supermajority for Democrats in the State House.