Humor takes the sting out of…well…the sting. And while political and advocacy ads were once heralded for taking down opponents with a chainsaw, today humor is often much more powerful and moving. Humor can also help a positive or response message cut through in a more memorable way. Below are examples of how we’ve used humor.
“Scott Walker ❤️ the state airplane.”
In 2018 we used humor to hit Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on his use of the state airplane.
To rehabilitate his image, Walker had used the state plane to fly across the state – including flights that were just 24 miles long.
We knew from polling this was a critical issue to move a key target group of persuadable voters. We used humor to make the hit more memorable.
“Nothing like a big heel crushing scurrying cockroaches to break through the political ad clutter.”
In New Mexico’s race for Secretary of State we knew we had to do something different to cut through all the ad clutter on television. Maggie Toulouse Oliver had just been elected to office in a special election two years prior due to the fact that the former Secretary of State had gone to jail. We needed a memorable spot about the great things Maggie was doing to clean up politics in New Mexico – including shining a light on dark money special interests.
“A lot of people are shooting at me…”
In the ad above Governor Barnes was being attacked by so many entities it was impossible to respond to every charge. So we bundled all the opponents into one unseemly package and answered en masse. Governor Barnes was known to raise cattle so a few “moos” helped…
If you’ve only got 6 seconds you’d better do something that can hold a voter’s attention and deliver a message
We had 18 various cannabis legalization ballot questions on county ballots in Wisconsin. We blitzed this light-hearted ad and several others like it across digital channels in Wisconsin. Voters needed to know about the ballot questions and were told to go vote on it. Based on our modeling we were able to deliver short 6-second online ads to voters with a very high marijuana support score (85+) and a low-mid vote propensity (40-55). That means we targeted these short 6-second ads to people that really supported the issue of cannabis legalization but were likely not going to vote.
In advertising most 6-second ads are called “snackables.” In this case, given the issue area, we decided to call the 6-second ads “munchies.” After the final ballots were counted, we helped win all 18 measures that were on the ballot.