Jon Bel Edwards was first elected as Governor of Louisiana in 2015. As former Governor Bobby Jindal was plagued with scandal, Edwards’ election as a Democratic Governor in a deep red state was attributed to little more than a fluke.
The reelection effort was poised to be an incredibly tight race. It all came down to the runoff between Edwards and Republican challenger Eddie Rispone.
Sapphire Strategies, an award-winning agency offering comprehensive digital strategy for Democratic campaigns and progressive causes, ran Gov Edwards digital program. To run a significant portion of the programmatic digital ads, Sapphire Strategies used Deploy, DSPolitical’s best in the market self serve programmatic ads platform, and the 2020 Reed Award winner for “Most Innovative Product of the Year.” Deploy is designed for agencies and consultants as a one-stop-shop for executing advanced media buying.
With Deploy, Sapphire Strategies was able to run multiple digital ad campaigns to targeted audience segments with their personalized creative.
However, Edwards’ victory wouldn’t come easy. Eddie Rispone was a formidable opponent who had won the support of President Trump, who had an approval rating over 65% in Louisiana at the time. The GOP had pegged Edwards’ seat as vulnerable, coupled with the fact that off-year elections have historically low turnouts, Sapphire Strategies needed to leverage their data with the right tools to target, persuade, and turnout voters.
Sapphire Strategies created and targeted digital ads to segments of their custom audience including African-American voters.
In a state where 31% of the population are Black voters, Sapphire’s targeted ad campaigns to this crucial voter audience may have determined the outcome of this election.
According to the New York Times, “Mr. Edwards saw a surge of support, largely among African-American voters and white moderates living in and around cities. Twenty percent of the African-Americans who voted early in the runoff had not participated in the state’s all-party primary, and there were considerable upticks in turnout around urban hubs like New Orleans and Baton Rouge.”
These voters who didn’t vote in the primary but did during the runoff election demonstrates the importance of GOTV campaigns in tight races.
Sapphire Strategies used Deploy to ensure this messaging reached the right universe of voters.
Leading up to election day on November 19th, Louisiana saw the highest ever turnout for a non-presidential election, up to 31% more during the runoff compared to the primary. In the end, Edwards won by 40,000 votes.
Edwards’ reelection highlights the importance of targeted digital ads, personalized messaging, and using a platform with match rates up to 90%, precision targeting, and expansive reach.
Julia Ager, President and Founder of Sapphire Strategies says of Deploy
“Deploy by DSPolitical allows us to run hyper-targeted programmatic ad campaigns all in one, easy to use, self-serve platform. It’s powerful and intuitive with the best data and onboarding so we know we’re reaching the right voters”
*Ad creative created by Sapphire Strategies