Brad Bates for Turlock Mayor:
A Politcal Campaign Case Study
Red Rooster Media has experience managing promotional media content creation and online advertising in all sectors, including politics. We have worked on multiple political campaigns from local city measures, to city council and mayoral races. Our most immersive campaign to date was on behalf of Brad Bates who ran for mayor of Turlock in 2018. The following is an in depth analysis of the campaign management, media creation, and promotional services that our team provided to Brad which led everyone in the Turlock area to wonder how the most senior candidate in the mayoral race out-did each of his competitors in every aspect related to media promotion and online advertising reach.
Setting the Stage
A Brief Overview
Brad Bates is a political candidate who ran for Turlock mayor in 2018. He was a lifetime resident of Turlock who had served two previous terms as mayor during the 80’s before moving back into the private sector. Following his retirement, Brad found himself unhappy with the direction Turlock’s current political leadership was taking the city, particularly in terms of their poor financial management of the city’s budget and conflicts within the city council which led to vacancies in important management roles such as the vital City Manager position.
Brad came to the Red Rooster Media team after viewing our local advertisements in the Silicon Valley area during a retreat to his long time family vacation home. When he reached out to us, he had recently severed ties with previous political campaign management team who had charged him a massive up-front cost to begin contracted work on his campaign. The team not only immediately cut $10,000 worth of funding out of Brad’s budget but was also planning to take a large percentage of all costs associated with purchasing promotional material for his campaign as it ran forward in the future. To make a long story short, this campaign team who he had hired failed to deliver on virtually all of their initial promises that he was guaranteed upon signing their contract and putting up the initial payment. Time was running short for Brad as June was already in full swing with the final election date approaching on November 6th of 2018. Brad was in a hard spot and needed a dedicated team to fill the void of his desperately needed campaign management, branding design, media creation, and advertising promotion.
The Red Rooster Media team was fortunate enough to receive a call from Brad at this time and was thrilled at the opportunity to help him succeed moving forward. The following is an in depth analysis of the campaign management, media creation, and promotional services that our team provided to Brad which led everyone in the Turlock area to wonder how the most senior candidate in the mayoral race out-did each of his competitors in every aspect related to media promotion and online advertising reach.
Creating a Branding Strategy
Initial Concepts and Promotional Appeal
Developing a branding strategy that people can relate to is arguably the most challenging and essential component of online media promotion. This is true not only throughout various sectors such as technology and local service based business but also in the political realm as well.
After many extended consultations with Brad and his Communications Director, Augusta Bates, we were able to nail down the exact way that we wanted to present Brad to the Turlock community. In order to highlight the quality of character, integrity, and qualified experience that Brad Bates possesses, our team decided to focus on his commitment to his family, the Turlock community, and previous success as a mayor for the city over three decades ago.
With our promotional strategy locked in, we were ready to begin moving forward with creating material to support Brad Bates and his political brand. During the short campaign period that we were working with Brad, time was very much of the essence and meeting deadlines with promotional content was something our team prided itself to deliver on time, every time, given the sensitive timeline. In the upcoming section we will describe in detail the promotional content that we created for Brad in chronological order as the campaigning efforts progressed.
Promotional Content Provided
Campaign Imagery and Branding
Every campaign needs a captivating sign that calls voters to action. We created both the promotional title that you see throughout the page (the Griffin below was designed by our team at Brad’s request as it represents an icon of his family) along with the print campaign sign that Brad used. All of these designs incorporated Brad’s color scheme and would match the design elements that we used in future digital advertising and web promotion.
YouTube Channel and Campaign Management
After creating the channel to host Brad’s promotional videos, we designed thumbnail artwork for each video as well as incorporated graphics into some of the videos we were provided with as needed.
Advertising Reach and Results
3 Phase Banner Display Campaign
During Phase 1 we wanted to familiarize the Turlock community with who Brad is and his previous experience as mayor. Another important aspect of his promotion was incorporating Shelby, his “iconic” dog, as part of his family-oriented appeal. The verbiage “Experience You Can Trust” was an essential component of his campaign slogan and the imagery used in this phase as well as Phase 3 was consisted with our website design that visitors would see on the landing page of the site after clicking ads.
During Phase 2 Brad had begun to make waves in the community and his dog who he had brought everywhere was gaining notoriety. In much of the promotional content we created and public speaking events, Brad suggested that it was “time for Turlock to take off the rose colored lenses, and face the reality of the challenges that lay ahead”.
During our final phase, Phase 3, we wanted to emphasize that Brad was the ideal candidate to guarantee real change for the community if elected. We also highlighted that the majority of persons who were polled had stated Brad was their ideal candidate for mayor in the upcoming election to create a bandwagon effect that prospective voters could attach themselves too.
3 Month Banner Advertising Results
When looking at the results from the 3 phase banner display campaign, the first thing that is important to note is the overwhelming reach of the campaign. Turlock is a community of ~66,000 residents over the age of 18. Because all of the demographic targeting that we applied, our advertisements would only show to those who were of voting age in the area. With a total advertising impression count of just under 2 million, in addition to 11,200 individual website visitors generated, there was not a voter in the Turlock area who hadn’t either seen Brad’s messaging or visited his website because of it. To calculate things out further, our banner advertisements existed on various web pages throughout the internet approximately 30 times for every voting-age web user in Turlock! Moreover, the low CPC (cost-per-click) of only $0.23 per visitor allowed us to obtain this massive advertising reach with only $2,550 in banner display ad spend during the course of 3 months. Advertising viewers were targeted based on their geographic location and age or a combination of those 2 factors in addition to 26 targeted keywords or 5 politically motivated topics that Google’s audience targeting allowed for.
3 Advert YouTube Video Advertising Campaign
Utilizing 3 different videos that Brad’s campaign team provided us with, we were able to promote Brad consistently throughout the entire election cycle via YouTube Ads. Our team not only branded each of Brad’s videos with a unique thumbnail consistent with the video’s content, but also added in video graphics as needed (see Brad’s Take for the Undecided Voter). The reach of YouTube advertising throughout the community combined with the low cost of video advertising allowed us to spread Brad’s messaging across the community at an unbelievably low cost. The following 3 videos are linked to Brad’s YouTube account and were all clickable for prospective viewers to visit Brad’s site while viewing the advertisement in order to learn more.
Primary Candidacy Announcement Why I'm Running
Brad's Take on the Anticipated 3-Way Split Vote
Brad's Final Push to Sway Undecided Voters
2 Month YouTube Video Advertising Results
YouTube video advertising proved to be a particularly effective form of spreading Brad’s candidacy and politcal platform among the Turlock voting community. Our in-stream YouTube video ads captured over 66,000 viewers over the age of 18 in Turlock during the 2 months that they ran. The most important thing to note about the results acquired from video advertising is the extremely low CPV (cost-per-view) of only $0.02 per viewer. The success of the advertisement in catching the attention of the community to tune into Brad’s message was also noteworthy as almost half of all viewers watched the advertisement rather than skipping the advert during the first 30 seconds of viewing (137.5k impressions to 66.26k views).
Targeted Google Keyword Search Campaign
To complete our Google/YouTube advertising efforts, we incorporated a targeted Google search advertisement that would capture prospective voters’ attention while they were actively searching for content related to the local political atmosphere and community events. The advertisements targeted 68 different phrases for residents of Turlock over the age of 18 that we had identified as an indication that they were actively Googling information regarding the local political climate and community events.
3 Month Google Search Campaign Results
While the cost of search advertisements can be significantly higher that banner display or YouTube video ads, the targeted of individuals in the community who are actively researching relevant keywords is crucial. The exceptionally high CTR (click-through-rate) of 6.54% is an indication that the advertisements found in-market prospective voters and the comparably low CPC (cost-per-click) of $0.71 per visitor is a testament to our strong optimization which enabled a highly-targeted campaign at low cost.
Analysis of Red Rooster Marketing Efforts
All in all the Red Rooster Media marketing efforts propelled Brad’s messaging throughout the Turlock community in a tremendous way. The opportunity we had to manage all aspects of Brad’s campaign branding, social channels and advertisement messaging/placement allowed us to remain consistent and focused in the presentation of Brad as a candidate. The extensive reach of the advertising channels we managed enabled all promotional content created by Red Rooster and the Bates campaign team to be seen by virtually every member of the Turlock community. Our advertising methods proved to be so effective in the community that all other candidates who were running in the election begin asking around to find out who exactly was running Brad’s online advertising. Moreover, every other candidate in the community began imitating our advertising methods in an attempt to push their messaging above Brad’s in the placements we had achieved for him. While our advertising budget was limited (spending only $6,500 over the course of 3 1/2 months) we still were able to gain a massive amount of exposure for Brad and achieve internet placement ahead of Brad’s competition in most cases.
For more information regarding our marketing efforts in the Bates campaign, please see the testimonial video below from Brad Bates himself!