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Why You Should be Texting Your TV Ads

In the realm of modern political campaigns, the tools available to candidates and their supporters continue to evolve. From traditional television advertisements to the expansive world of social media, each platform offers unique opportunities to connect with voters and convey a candidate's message.


In the case of Ron DeSantis' Super PAC, Never Back Down, a strategic focus on texting ads emerged as a powerful tactic in their campaign playbook. Even though Ron DeSantis was buried in the Republican primaries, his super PAC texting TV ads to voters should not be buried! In September of 2023 Sasha Issenberg published an article in Politico delving into a substantial study of texting TV ads.

The Experimentation Phase: Testing Different Communication Methods

In their quest to introduce Ron DeSantis to potential voters and bolster support for his candidacy, Never Back Down embarked on a comprehensive research experiment. This initiative evaluated the effectiveness of various communication methods, including television advertisements and text messages. Not surprisingly, they found traditional broadcast television ads were found to be highly persuasive, resonating with a wide audience but there was one huge surprise in their data.

 

The Unexpected Success of Text Messages

While traditional broadcast television ads were impactful, the emergence of texting as a potent tool was a surprise. Through a sequence of text messages sent over two weeks, the average voter became significantly more likely to support Ron DeSantis. According to internal data from Never Back Down, text messages increased voter support for DeSantis by an average of three-and-a-half percentage points.


Strategic Deployment of Texting Campaigns

Armed with this knowledge, Never Back Down strategically deployed text messaging campaigns to reach potential voters. According to campaign data, approximately 70% of targeted Iowa voters were successfully reached via text message, indicating the widespread reach and impact of texting.

 

Targeting Untapped Audiences: Advantages of Reaching Non-Traditional TV Viewers

One of the significant advantages of texting for political campaigns is the ability to reach voters who may not see traditional television advertisements. According to a study by Cross Screen Media, 17% of voters do not watch television in any form, indicating a sizable portion of the electorate that may be missed by traditional TV ads. Texting allows campaigns to bypass these barriers and connect directly with these untapped audiences.

 

Looking Ahead: The Future of Political Campaigns

The strategic focus on texting should not be dismissed just because DeSantis lost. Through experimentation, strategic deployment, and the complementary role of television advertisements, Democratic campaigns can use text messages to reach voters and drive support.

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