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Special Project
From the 13th Annual Shorty Awards

“Get Out The Vote” Acrylic Nails

Entered in Short Form Video

About this entry

Black women are often considered the backbone of the Democratic Party. They are reliable and loyal voters who consistently vote for Democrats up and down the ballot, and whose support can make or break candidates’ chances. 

But cycle after cycle, Black women are largely ignored, taken for granted, or are served content that does not speak to their unique culture, perspectives, and experiences in America. 

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) & Precision ran one of the largest programs this cycle to engage and turnout “infrequent” voters of color -- Black and brown voters who did not in 2016 or 2018. We wanted to create an ad designed to re-energize infrequent Black women voters specifically, who may have been apathetic or otherwise unenthusiastic about this year’s election.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

SEIU & Precision conducted robust polling throughout the cycle to understand the issues infrequent Black voters cared about, their views on the candidates, and the messages that resonated with them. We also dug into the cross-tabs to understand Black women voters, specifically. We learned that Black women overwhelmingly supported Biden and were “definitely” or leaning toward voting for him, but there was still room to grow their likelihood and enthusiasm to vote.

SEIU & Precision created a joyful, upbeat ad encouraging Black women to vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The ad looked nothing like traditional political campaign ads, but instead it highlighted two important long-standing traditions in Black women’s culture: civic participation and innovation in beauty (or in this case, acrylic nails!).

The ad “Nails” features one Black woman’s manicures ahead of Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012. The ad quickly flips through her acrylic nail art each election: they spelled “Hope” in 2008, “Four More” in 2012, but were bare in 2016. This year, the ad told voters not to leave it up to chance, spelling “VOTE 2020” across her nails.

The ad was extremely short -- only 15 seconds -- to ensure we would grab the attention of infrequent voters who are more likely to tune out political ads. Through a robust paid media and targeting program, we served the ad on social media and streaming platforms to Black women who did not vote in 2016 or 2018 across six battleground states: Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The ad ran from late-October through Election Day. 

For six months, we produced original ads on issues that our polling found was top of mind for Black women: COVID-19, systemic racism, healthcare and the economy.  The “Nails” ad was our last ad of the cycle -- a final, high-energy “get out the vote” message to our audience, encouraging them to make their voices heard. 


In just 34 days, the ad had 149K completed views from 179K impressions, with a near 83% completion rate. 

This ad was part of SEIU & Precision’s historic multi-million investment program to engage infrequent Black, Latinx and AAPI voters, led by BIPOC strategists and creatives who developed more than 30 unique ads tailored for these audiences. 

SEIU & Precision’s contributions worked -- Black, Latinx, and AAPI voters turned out in record numbers and helped provide the winning margin for President-elect Biden in states across the country. According to exit polls, 87% of Black, 65% of Latinx and 61% of AAPI voters cast their ballots for Biden. Our program successfully delivered 450M+ content impressions, 169M video views and 1.35M clicks to program websites with voter registration and vote-by-mail information.


Video for “Get Out The Vote” Acrylic Nails

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Precision, Service Employees International Union