One of Hillary Clinton’s biggest spenders is going beyond television and tapping into Facebook’s most advanced ad units in its effort to explain to young voters what a Donald Trump administration could mean for them.
Priorities USA Action, the main super PAC supporting Democratic nominee Clinton, will begin a campaign on Thursday displaying a four-part comic book series called “Trump’s America.” The first will run for two weeks with the following parts running for a week each up until the first week of October.
Unlike the traditional television and video attack ads that the super PAC has been running, the group chose to invest in the other creative ad units on the world’s largest social network.
“You have to think outside the box when you’re advertising to younger voters. They don’t respond to television. They aren’t watching or getting their news there,”
Tara McGowan director of digital strategy for Priorities USA Action, told Mashable.
The campaign is focused on younger voters in swing states. The ads will be targeted to voters ages 18 to 34 years old in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Iowa and Pennsylvania. Priorities USA Action said it plans to reach 2.2 million people and will spend $500,000 in September with the potential to add more.
The approach is an effort to capture the attention of a younger audience, encouraging them to devote time on their phones (where 50 minutes per day is on Facebook apps) to imagining and experiencing a Trump administration.
The new ads will run as three different formats on Facebook: Canvas (the Instant Article-like unit that lets advertisers include panoramic images, videos and call-to-action buttons that viewers can swipe through), 360 Photos and Carousel.
These formats encourage a viewer to engage directly with the ad, taking a mouse on desktop or their finger on mobile to swipe through or zoom in on a photo.
Indeed, 61 percent of millennials in the U.S. report getting their political news on Facebook each week versus 37 percent from local television, according to Pew Research Center. Those numbers nearly flip in comparison to adults age 50 to 68.
Still, Priorities USA Action devotes the majority of its resources to television. The super PAC reserved roughly $117.5 million for TV, $35 million for digital and $5.3 million for radio. So far, the group has spent over $50 million on TV and $10.5 million on digital.
Video is king among their digital spending as well, with the largest portion spent on skippable pre-roll video that is available on YouTube and across media sites like Yahoo and CNN. The group has also invested dollars in programmatic ads as well as ads on Google, Twitter and Snapchat.
Facebook and Instagram remain in each of their media plans. The latest campaign isn’t Priorities USA Action’s first on Facebook, but it is one of their largest spends and their most resource-invested on the network.
Each installment depicts a different theme of an imagined America under President Trump in 2024. The first part, which runs over the next two weeks, focuses on the economy.
The ad pans over a scene in New York City, where the streets are dirty, buildings are destroyed and an ambulance is carrying several people.
Trump’s voice is heard saying, “Where I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone, and I wouldn’t lose any voters,” which is a sound clip from Trump’s speech in Iowa in January.
The words displayed in sound bubbles around Trump and in auto-play sound bites are taken directly from his appearances. That aligns with Priorities USA Action’s strategy to share with voters what Trump has been saying during his campaigning
“Our paid digital resources are focused on persuading African American, Hispanic, women and in this case millennial voters about just how dangerous and divisive Donald Trump is, and often we’re able to do that simply by reinforcing his own words because he’s given us buckets of material”Justin Barasky, communications director at Priorities USA Action.
The group is among the first political organizations to run a Canvas ad, which was released in February. Bernie Sanders campaign and Keep The Promise III, Ted Cruz’s super PAC, also used Canvas. The Sanders campaign used the format to explain the caucus process and encourage supporters to sign up for their email list.
“What may have been done video for X or Y goal can now be packaged in other formats,” said Kaiya Waddell, who works on Facebook’s political ad sales team. “We’re pairing this with their strategy of really wanting to reach millennial voters with the most compelling format for mobile.”
Brands were originally reluctant to test Canvas, citing investment time and lack of case studies, Digiday reported.
Priorities USA Action said the group is not tied to the Canvas format, however. They will evaluate after each installment is published whether they prioritize one or two of the three formats.
The following installments will address gender, climate change and immigration.