Flipping the Senate in the Georgia Senate Runoffs

Optimal was proud to partner with Fenton and the New Georgia Project to mobilize voters in advance of the Georgia Senate runoff elections in 2020 that determined control of the US Senate.

To regain control of the Senate, we were tasked with reaching historically ignored Black Georgians who were hesitant to turnout and had been put off by the aftermath of the general election in November. With control of the country in the balance, Fenton and Optimal partnered with the New Georgia Project who had built trust with millions of Georgians across the state over the past decade.

Traditional voter file targeting often has gaps when it comes to reaching Black voters. To counteract this, we married our responsive ad targeting technology with the New Georgia Project’s voter-tested messaging, along with Fenton’s razor-sharp creative and earned media outreach to bring the Georgia Black Belt out to vote and flip the Senate. 

With only three weeks to reach voters, Optimal implemented the digital advertising component of Fenton’s robust media plan which featured tailored creative created in partnership with SHOWTIME’s late-night talk show Desus and Mero, as well as new authentic creative from local validators. All video and display ads were mobile and audio-friendly. 

With verified, first-party voter data partnerships, we employed digital consumption modeling to serve creative to voters with a high likelihood of engaging with content online and who were most receptive to messaging from digital advertising. We ensured New Georgia Project was able to reach their custom audiences and ensure the right people were getting the right calls to action from voter registration to early voting, and in-person voting.

We supplemented this targeting with New Georgia Project’s canvassing lists, helping drive our core audience of Black Georgians who turned out at 41.9% – an incredible turnout rate for a runoff election in the middle of a pandemic, after sweeping voter disenfranchisement in the state during the preceding general election. 

Together with Fenton and New Georgia Projected, Optimal helped secure Democratic control of the Senate for the first time since 2014.

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