COMPETE Case Study - Andrew Learned for Congress

Digital Works – Using Limited Budgets to Win Votes Online

We submitted an application for a CampaignTech award, in the category of “Most Effective Online Targeting – Federal Campaign”. Below is what we included in the submission.

Give us the background/context of your entry: 

6 weeks before the 2018 Primary election, Andrew Learned, a Democrat running for Congress in Florida’s 15th district, was well behind his opponent in the polls (he was at 12% with his main competition at 31%), and well behind in cash on hand (he had about 2/5’s the spending power of his opponent, who had a Super PAC funneling money in from unknown origins).

The campaign knew they needed to throw a hail mary to have a chance at winning. They decided to bring on COMPETE Digital to deploy what was remaining of their budget. COMPETE used Digital marketing strategies from the Silicon Valley Tech world to maximize the impact of their limited budget. By expertly navigating online ad marketplaces, COMPETE reached Learned campaign’s Primary voter audience everywhere they internet. That included platforms that most Political Digital firms shy away from due to the difficulty involved in correctly setting up the campaigns like Google, Twitter, and Youtube .

6 weeks before the 2018 Primary election, Andrew Learned, a Democrat running for Congress in Florida’s 15th district, was well behind his opponent in the polls (he was at 12% with his main competition at 31%), and well behind in cash on hand (he had about 2/5’s the spending power of his opponent, who had a Super PAC funneling money in from unknown origins).

The campaign knew they needed to throw a hail mary to have a chance at winning. They decided to bring on COMPETE Digital to deploy what was remaining of their budget. COMPETE used Digital marketing strategies from the Silicon Valley Tech world to maximize the impact of their limited budget. By expertly navigating online ad marketplaces, COMPETE reached Learned campaign’s Primary voter audience everywhere they internet. That included platforms that most Political Digital firms shy away from due to the difficulty involved in correctly setting up the campaigns like Google, Twitter, and Youtube .

COMPETE also knew that Digital is a unique medium that requires customized creative – you can’t just take a standard TV ad, stick it online, and expect it to perform well. COMPETE created dozens of ads tailored for the Digital space, giving them the best chance to break through the noise across the internet. The sample Digital cartoon linked to below is a good example of an ad COMPETE created that breaks through –

Sample COMPETE Ad – Negative cartoon:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xosy7eUtR08

The ad quickly delivers a message in the first 3-5 seconds before an online voter’s short attention span wanes, it can be digested if the ad is on mute through text and quick visuals, and being a cartoon hooks voters into paying a bit more attention to it before continuing to scroll through their Social Media feed or browse the web.

Ultimately, Andrew Learned didn’t win his race. However, we commissioned a poll to compare the effect of our Digital ads at winning votes other mediums, and the results affirmed that Learned’s Digital communication had a huge impact on winning votes. Here are some highlights of the results:

– 68% of Primary voters polled saw our online ads
– Those who did were 12% more likely to vote for Andrew than those who didn’t
– Our Digital reached more votes and won more votes than either our opponent’s mail or TV ads
– Despite more or less the same total spend, Digital increased the likelihood someone would vote for Andrew by FOUR TIMES more than our opponent’s TV ads (12% to 3%)

COMPETE couldn’t help the Learned campaign overcome the fundamentals of their race, but they did give Andrew the best shot of winning with his limited budget, and proved that, when it is well executed and given the budget and focus necessary to succeed, Digital wins votes.

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