California’s Proposition 27, written by out-of-state corporations to legalize online and mobile sports betting, was marketed by its proponents as a viable source of funding for alleviating homelessness. In reality, these corporations would take 90% of the profits while undermining tribal control of gaming and eroding tribal sovereignty.

Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming sought to educate Californians on the nefarious nature of this proposition and encourage them to vote “No” on Prop 27. DSPolitical worked with our partners at AKPD to achieve this goal, using state-of-the-art targeting techniques to bring educational and persuasive video content to California voters. And in doing so, pioneer a new, advanced method of digital persuasion.

AKPD’s video creative ran on various channels– programmatic digital video, programmatic CTV, and premium digital video channels like YouTube. The targeted audience included persuadable universes based on polling and, notably, people who had seen ads in support of Proposition 27 on TV. This type of targeting leveraged ACR Data, or Automated Content Recognition, to build audience segments based on viewing history. The powerful persuadability behind this media targeting was proven to be more than theoretical when DSPolitical ran a third-party media impact analysis on attitudes towards Proposition 27 after exposure to the ads.

DSPolitical and AKPD partnered with INTRVL to run pre-, mid-, and post-campaign surveys to assess the impact of our media program and make optimizations mid-flight. The surveys conducted asked viewers three questions:

  1. How do you plan to vote on California Prop 27 (Legalize Online Sports Betting)?
  2. How likely is Prop 27 to improve the homelessness situation in California?
  3. How good of a deal do you think Proposition 27 would be for California?

Across the board, the analysis found that viewers exposed to AKPD and DSPolitical’s advertisements were more likely to oppose Proposition 27. For example, on the question, “How good of a deal do you think Proposition 27 would be for California?” there was a +4.7% increase towards the answer of “Very Bad Deal”. Thanks to this analysis we found the most receptive target with substantial room for movement to be younger Latina women, and adjusted our targeting to optimize persuadability. This pivot in the final weeks before the election to focusing on a narrower cohort made AKPD’s media far more impactful, despite being heavily outspent by the opposition.

This impact materialized on Election day when Californian voters overwhelmingly voted against the measure, with 82% voting “No.”