OBAMA

2012

The path to victory is always changing.
Through our work for Obama for America
we have developed and overseen the
biggest advances in Democratic campaigns.

The Strategy Group, led by embedded partner Terry
Walsh, oversaw the largest online mail testing
program in the history of political direct mail.

The multi-modal program merged EIP testing with
qualitative testing of creative online. The results were
used to enhance both the content of the mail pieces
and the voters targeted.

Working at the head of a conglomerate of four mail
firms, The Strategy Group wrote and designed more
than 60 concepts that were run through testing.

67%

of the time mail produced by
The Strategy Group moved more
voters than the competition.

Firm b

13%

Firm c

10%

Firm d

10%

In January of 2012 one of the earliest deployments of this testing came with the campaign’s early challenge of packaging and presenting ObamaCare. The Strategy Group designed a series of mail pieces presenting different arguments and facets of ObamaCare that were subjected to national testing to identify the most effective arguments, language, and designs.

As the campaign evolved, similar testing was conducted for mail discussing Romney’s background and economic policies, youth persuasion, and women’s health. Strategy Group pieces consistently tested at the top of the pack and were used in critical battleground states by all firms.

“Future campaigns ignore the
targeting strategy of the Obama
campaign of 2012 at their peril.”

— Ken Goldstein, President of Kantar Media CMAG
New York Times, November 12, 2012

VICTORY OHIO: 2012

Ohio was central to both campaigns’
path to 270. No state was harder
fought and a win here would make
Romney’s Electoral College math
nearly impossible.

OFA’s testing operation built a profile
of a persuadable voter. Diving further
into the research, our analysis identified
auto industry support as the most
important trait associated with voter
intent by a 36-point margin, 53-17.

In Ohio, one in eight jobs are tied to
the auto industry.

The Strategy Group devised a
September strategy around these
findings, creating a robust, contrasting
mail program that informed
persuadable voters of the president’s
record in saving the industry and using
Romney’s own words against him.

Mail was targeted to persuadable
voters, as defined by analytics, within a
certain number of miles of major auto
suppliers of GM/Chrysler facilities.

OCTOBER 2012: THE PLAN

With less than two weeks left before Election Day, Obama for
America decided to close the campaign with a focus on the
president’s plan for the next four years framing the choice for
the persuadable voter based on the path forward instead of
simply leaving them with their own referendum on whether or
not President Obama’s record warranted a second term.

Two firms were given 48 hours to sift through reams
of campaign policy papers, issue polling and qualitative
research in order to design a plan to send to persuadable voters
that communicated both the weight and the vision
of the president’s agenda for creating jobs and delivering
middle-class security.

By a score of 16-2, persuadable voters in focus groups
preferred The Strategy Group’s bold, Pollie and Reed
Award winning, image-driven design and 20-page
deep presentation of the president’s agenda that used
attention getting facts, substantiate policy recommendations
and poll-tested messaging over a more flat 8-page design
produced by the other firm.

The booklet helped make the closing
argument of the campaign about a plan for
a more secure economic future for middle-class
Americans, not a conversation about how bad
the recession was in the past. Part symbol,
part substance, the plan was the physical
embodiment of the Obama-Biden campaign’s
final message frame to the voters who mattered
the most – the next four years is about how we
make your economic future more secure.

In addition to landing in over 4 million
mailboxes of persuadable voters in
battleground states, the plan appeared
in TV ads, digital ads, on the campaign
website, major media outlets and 1 million
copies were hand-delivered by volunteers
at events and door-to-door canvasses.

BEHIND EVERY VICTORY
THERE IS A STRATEGY