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How should political campaigns budget their digital ad spending?

Updated: Mar 23, 2020

Photo by Kidus Solomon. Attendees at an Our Revolution organizing rally listen to headlining speaker Nina Turner as she rallies supporters for Bernie Sanders' upcoming presidential campaign.

For Democrats in Texas, the question of how to most effectively spend a digital marketing budget wasn’t nearly as difficult to answer when their limited funds constrained their ability to build strong digital advertising campaigns. That is, until 2018, when Beto O’Rourke broke national fundraising records in his bid to unseat Ted Cruz, and by doing so introduced long forgotten liberals in Texas to a new realm of possibilities in the digital world. Working with the renowned Revolution Messaging, fresh off of their history making work with Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign, the latest and most innovative digital tools were employed in order to mirror Beto’s barnstorming on-the-ground efforts, online - leading to ads that look like this:

A new breed of political video ads have also entered the mix. As campaigns increasingly focus their attention on reaching audiences online instead of on TV, they now have greater flexibility in their budgets to create truly innovative concepts with the potential to go viral and propel a campaign to victory. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's shocking win in New York proved that.

Now, as 2020 candidates compete for seats in the Texas House and Senate, the US Congress, and even County level positions, Democrats are for the first time in decades flush with cash and ready to break new ground in an election that could possibly turn Texas purple and determine how electoral maps are drawn for the next decade.

Photo by Kidus Solomon. Elizabeth Warren in Dallas, Texas

What suggestions and ideas do you have for political campaigns as they begin to ramp up their efforts in 2020?

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