SNS Wins Seven Pollie Awards

Esquire magazine has dubbed the Pollie Awards “…the Oscars of political advertising.” The Pollie Awards are the most prized and sought-after awards in the political communications and public affairs industries.

In 2020 Strother Nuckels Strategies was honored to win 7 Pollie Awards for excellence in political advertising from the AAPC.

“Democrat knocks off incumbent Kentucky governor in state Trump won by 30 points” – ABC News

WINNER: UA Independent Expenditure for Andy Beshear for Governor
“Best Television for PAC/Super Pac”
+ “Best Television Independent Expenditure Campaign – Governor”

Despite Trump’s 30-point victory in Kentucky in 2016, Andy Beshear was able to overcome the long odds to win. We were damn proud to help make this possible.  Our ad campaign – on behalf of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters – was targeting squarely at the working-class people Andy Beshear needed to win the gubernatorial race.

The goal was win more votes in Eastern Kentucky than in the 2015 race for governor – doing so would keep the race competitive.  In 2015, Matt Bevin won the region with 57.28%. In 2019, our work helped hold Bevin to 53.27% – that’s a dramatic 4% improvement in a tough part of the state for Democrats; an additional 6,430 votes. Looking at county totals alone, Beshear was able to win 7 of the 16 counties we targeted; in 2015 the Democratic nominee only won 2 of those same counties.

In a race where Andy Beshear was elected governor by 5,086 votes, the additional 6,430 votes out of Eastern region we targeted proved to be decisive.  We were very proud to have been a part of the effort to help elect Gov. Beshear.  


“Louisiana delivers Trump a black eye” – Politico

WINNER:  United Association for John Bel Edwards for Governor  
 “Best Internet Advertising -Best Use of Targeting”
+ “Best Digital Creative – Full Set”
+ “Best Digital Independent Expenditure Campaign – Governor”
+ Reed Award for “Toughest Online Video Advertisement – Dems”

Often times the best way to deliver a punch to a candidate is by using their own words against them.  It’s even better if there is a video. In Louisiana’s gubernatorial race we had both. And we needed to deliver a knock-out punch to the anti-union candidate for Governor. “Phony” Eddie Rispone had been performing well among white working class voters and had a long history of anti-union advocacy. Rispone’s record as a businessman was also spotty. He had hired foreign workers, he had been sued for stiffing employees on their paychecks, he was against expanding healthcare to the working poor, and he chaired the fervently anti-union ABC contractors. The United Association needed make sure that all their union members knew that Rispone was talking a big game on jobs and wages but the reality was much different.  

Genrich won big in a seat that had been held by a Republican mayor for the last 16 years.

WINNER: Eric Genrich for Green Bay Mayor
“Best Use of Data Analytics/ Machine Learning”
+ “Best Digital Creative – Full Set”

In Eric Genrich’s successful campaign to become Green Bay’s next mayor we were running over 100 pieces of display, video, and native creative at any given time on the web. These pieces were all being analyzed constantly to determine what message and issue was working best within targeted groups. This had a dramatic effect on our ability to deliver on key performance indicators such as click through rates and video completion rates. Using AI-driven analytics and optimization we were able to achieve a 1.5% click through rate among male Independents over the age of 60  with a purple ad with a black border. The industry benchmark for a similar banner ad is .08% – our results were 18.75 times that benchmark.

AI optimizations tested all the creative against each other and – after running a combination of 80 banner ad variations – made a determination as to what was best to achieve high click through rates. We also found that female Democrats aged 35-59 reacted best to a message on “working together” with a teal color and a 1-pixel-wide orange border – yielding a 1.34% click through rate… again that’s 16.75 times the industry benchmark at .08%.

AI-driven optimization helped some targeted display ads perform 18.75 times that of the industry benchmark

Our strategy on digital video was to focus on issues through a series of very low cost videos. We filmed 12 different videos and tested them against each other among our targeted voters and regions. This included videos centered around local issues from various regions of the city.


To keep costs minimal on the web videos we embraced an off-the-cuff, limited edit style (like the video above). We utilized over 12 issue-specific videos that were tested against each other among our targeted demos and target city neighborhoods.

An AI-optimized, efficiency-budget web video designed to engage Democratic base voters in the final days of the campaign.

Genrich won an unexpected landslide with 58% with a campaign that relied on AI-driven analytics and a multi-layered “surround sound” communications strategy.