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Political Campaigns

Winning in the Senate

With the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

Background

01 / Background

We have produced ads for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) Independent Expenditure to support top Democratic Senate candidates in every election cycle since 2006. Each year, we’ve found new and different ways to successfully reach voters with moving, entertaining, breakthrough messages and creative styles.

Years
2006 - 2014
Services
Creative Content / Advertising
Strategy

02 / Strategy

Every race is different, and the most powerful messages resonate with voters in a way that feels relevant to their lives. We’re always looking for ways to localize the stakes and show how our candidates are a part of the unique culture of the states they are from. We’ve worked with the DSCC to support Democratic candidates through independent expenditures in Senate races around the country—from Virginia and North Carolina to Minnesota and Arizona. In 2012, Heidi Heitkamp was fighting in a tough, tight race against then-Congressman Rick Berg for the open North Dakota senate seat. We knew that for Heidi to win, we needed to discredit Rick Berg, helping voters see how he was prioritizing the whims of Washington over the needs of North Dakotans. But there was a catch—we needed to make sure our ads were consistent with the tone set by the Heitkamp campaign. Even in the rough and tumble world of politics, there’s a friendly, neighborly culture in the state that’s known as “North Dakota nice.” We also needed to remind voters how Heidi’s values aligned with their own.

Work

03 / Work

Our solution was to let North Dakotans deliver the message about why Heidi was a better choice than Berg in their own words and a tone that was North Dakotan, through and through. “See Straight” and “Proud Of” featured North Dakotans talking about how they’d seen Rick Berg abandon North Dakota values―in particular, by voting against the farm bill, which offers crucial support to agricultural states. In both spots, the voters giving testimonials contrast what they had seen from Rick Berg with what they knew and trusted about Heidi Heitkamp. The soft music and straight talk created the right tone, while the scenic agricultural vistas evoked a beloved way of life in the state.

Results

04 / Results

Throughout the race, polls showed Heitkamp and Berg neck-and-neck. In the final results on Election Day, Heidi beat Berg 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent—a margin of less than three thousand votes.