"Samantha" and "The Choice" Among Top Political Ads of 2015
Over the course of the runoff, The Choice had close to 400,000 views and many more impressions with no promotional money spent. Locally, it presented voters with a stark, irrefutable contrast between the two gubernatorial candidates. Nationally, no ad of the cycle was more watched or discussed, and its digital presence helped it reach all the way to fundraising channels in D.C., where it aided in sewing the seeds of doubt that led to the end of David Vitter's campaign and career.
The Samantha ad was deeply personal for the Edwards family, and it struck a chord with voters across party and ideological lines in a southern state universally dismissed offhand as "ruby red". This ad echoed a central tenet of the Edwards campaign and implied another subtle contrast in the process: John Bel lives his values.
Another important contrast - John Bel Edwards appears together with his wife, who tells the story. Edwards' opponent didn't manage to muster this intimate vulnerability (actually, Wendy and David Vitter do briefly appear in the same shot in this clunky non-response to The Choice).
Samantha was the second most watched ad of the digital campaign, with over 100,000 views and many more impressions.
Both of these ads were broadcast on television, but the accompanying digital campaign allowed them to reach (among others) 150,000 potential voters in the 18-24 and 25-34 demographics who may have been too young to hear much about David Vitter when his indiscretions initially came to light.
Additionally, I provided all ads in John Bel Edwards' digital campaign with hand-transcribed closed captioning, vital to reach the community of 78,000 deaf people in Louisiana. This attention to detail was unique to the Edwards campaign and is one of the reasons he was endorsed by the Deaf Grassroots Movement of Louisiana.