We pride ourselves on producing campaigns that get people talking, thinking, acting. And the Obama/Biden 2012 presidential campaign got people talking, thinking, and acting like no other effort in modern American politics. Thousands of campaign staff, hundreds of organizations, and many other agencies worked on advertising and media. We’re incredibly proud to be counted as a small part of the team.
As the campaign’s youth agency, we developed two campaigns to reach young Americans.
The first campaign – “First Time” – aimed to convince college students their first time voting was an important, life-changing decision. Moreover, we emphasized their ‘first time’ should be in support of the President.
We even got Lena Dunham in on the action. Through a video that’s been viewed more than 2.5 million times, Lena sparked a national conversation about the issues that matter most to young people.
The second campaign – “For All” – used the Pledge of Allegiance as its foundation. The campaign underscored both the president’s vision that we’re greater together and the values that connect young people to him. It provided young Americans the opportunity to share their own visions for the future. The idea was simple: write an issue on your hand, take a photo, post it on Instagram and spread the word. You might recognize some of people in the shots below. We think it was the first Instagram-based political advertising campaign and it reached deep into our target. More than 76,000 Twitter users tweeted with the #ForAll hashtag, potentially reaching more than 150 million people between September and election day.
The result? The numbers tell the story. 18% of young Americans turned out in 2008, with 66% voting in support of the President. This time around – even amid concerns about the economy and disenchantment with the political process – they turned out again and in record numbers. Young people made up 19% of the electorate in 2012, an all-time high, and 60% of them voted for President Obama. Analysts have said the youth vote made the difference in VA, OH, FL and PA, key battleground states that put the President over the top. Moreover, the ad was named Time’s #3 ad of the year.