With Democrats still nursing bruises from 2016, when Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the election, Joe Biden‘s campaign issued a memo of reassurance Wednesday morning.
It outlined the campaign’s paid media strategy. Campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said the campaign was spending bigger than any predecessor, with “multiple pathways” to victory possible.
“Today, we are announcing that we will lay down a $280 million paid media reservation — spanning TV and digital — as we head into the fall. Our reservation will include a major national television component, investments in ‘offensive’ states, the largest digital reservation in campaign history, and an immense commitment to targeted communities, as demonstrated by our planned investments in Latino, African American, and AAPI targeted media. Our program will also invest in discrete tracks of programming geared towards youth and seniors audiences,” O’Malley Dillon wrote.
The Trump campaign, meanwhile, has committed $145 million to television thus far.
In contrast to the stark culture war messaging put forth by the President, the Biden campaign is going to keep it positive.
“This reservation lays the groundwork for a paid media program that enables our campaign to communicate directly with a broad swath of the electorate, letting voters hear directly from Vice President Biden speaking to the moment we’re in — the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis that has left millions jobless — and see a demonstration of the type of leadership that’s so badly missing from the White House right now. And, it is in stark contrast with the Trump campaign, whose advertising has only sought to distract from his failed leadership during this pivotal time and use this moment of crisis to further divide the nation.”
To be sure, Florida and other battleground states are in play. But Biden is playing in typical Republican holds, also, including Texas and Georgia, suggesting that the public polls showing tossups are mirrored in Biden’s own internal surveys.
The digital strategy, meanwhile, ensures voters will see Biden’s face and hear his message in atypical forums, including online gaming platforms.
“We are locking in inventory in our key states with both console gaming partners (such as PlayStation) as well as mobile gaming partners (such as TapJoy and Inmobi),” O’Malley Dillon wrote.
Expect targeted buys to Black and Hispanic voters also.
“We’ll reserve national airtime time on BET, TV1, Bounce, and OWN. Through these networks, even at moderate levels, we can reach approximately half of all African American households. We will also reserve at the state + local level honing in on African American skewing programming,” the campaign said about outreach to those demographics.
The campaign’s Hispanic voter targets, meanwhile, will include “culturally competent” voiceovers, a nod to the diversity of that cohort.
“Our creative will feature voiceover talent that speaks to the diverse Latino population, like using a voice of Mexican-descent in Arizona, and a voice of Puerto Rican-descent in Orlando and Tampa.”
While Biden leads in most national polls, the calculus gets a bit more complicated in battleground states, such as Florida, where the race is tightening as more familiar partisan contours emerge.
The Change Research/CNBC “States of Play” poll, conducted from July 24 to 26, shows that while Biden has a nine point lead nationally, that advantage dwindles to 3% in battleground states overall, and in Florida particular.