With the dust barely settled on the presidential election, politically-minded ad industry creatives are already turning their attention to two runoff Senate races in Georgia this January that will decide which party controls the U.S. Senate, thereby determining President-elect Joe Biden’s ability to pass legislation.
A new ad hoc group called Creatives For Georgia has signed on more than 850 industry professionals. The initial goal is to create a massive digital content production line in support of the Democratic candidates in each of the races, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. The group has reached out to each of the candidate’s campaigns as well as on-the-ground activist groups, voting rights advocates and party orgs to coordinate on messaging.
Among those volunteering are 350 graphic designers, 150 video editors and 100 web developers, most of whom are working on a pro bono basis. The volunteers come with varying degrees of experience with political marketing. The group will focus on partner-driven and grassroots campaigns built around goals like fundraising, persuasion, voter registration and rapid-response for misinformation.
While it’s not unusual for industry creatives to rally around liberal and progressive causes, the scale of the effort is perhaps unprecedented for a statewide election. Experts expect the two races—both triggered when all of the candidates in each election failed to break a 50% vote threshold—could end up being among the most expensive in U.S. history due to the pivotal stakes.
The organizers hope they can bring a level of digital media and advertising savvy to the effort that might not normally be available to smaller nonprofit groups. Comparable resources are generally handled by big, dedicated marketing teams.
“We are essentially creating a services marketplace,” said organizer Philipp Tsipman, who is also co-founder of digital ad firm Outfox AI. “On one hand, you have a whole bunch of nonprofit organizations and grassroots organizations that, historically, maybe, haven’t been able to get good marketing … On the other hand, you have a huge pool of talented folks concentrated in New York City and LA and places like that. So if you can match that up, isn’t that incredible?”
The group, which held its kickoff call this week, will establish an online forum and database where local nonprofit and on-the-ground groups can list projects for the volunteers. Those tools are meant to outline what the respective projects hope to accomplish, and then match specific needs with marketing professionals to work on. Staffers will coordinate along the way to ensure that the teams are pairing seamlessly.
The organizers will also solicit content from volunteers that they can promote on various online channels. Most members have said that they can contribute between five and 20 hours per week to the effort, while about 160 have pledged to work full-time on it.
“People have already raised their hand, saying, ‘I want to do this’ or ‘I’ve done this’ or ‘I’ve created these graphics, let me put them out there,’” Tsipman said. “This is as talented a group of people you can get. And they are very self-driven, so we’ll pull those together and promote them.”
This is as talented a group of people you can get, and they are very self-driven.
Philipp Tsipman, Creatives For Georgia organizer
In the wake of an election in which Democrats won the presidency but significantly underperformed polls in state-level margins and down-ballot races, there has been much debate over the messaging and marketing tactics deployed by the party.