The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is composed of 2 million members -- the majority of whom are Black and brown -- who’ve been essential workers on the frontlines of the pandemic as home and health care, janitorial, airport, food, and other service workers. They knew what was at stake in the presidential election and strongly believed new leadership was needed to protect their communities.
Knowing that “infrequent” voters of color -- those who did not vote in 2016 or 2018 -- had the power to determine the outcome of the election, SEIU & Precision built one of the largest paid media programs this cycle to engage infrequent Black, Latinx, and AAPI voters in eight key states, encouraging them to show up at the polls for Biden-Harris.
Cycle after cycle, Black, Latinx, and AAPI voters are largely ignored, taken for granted, or only contacted in the final weeks of the election. In order to mobilize this critical segment of the electorate, we needed to reach voters where they were with content that spoke to their unique culture, perspectives, and experiences. We conducted robust polling throughout the cycle to understand the issues each cared about, their views on the candidates, and messages that resonated with them. The campaign was led by BIPOC strategists and creatives who developed culturally-competent content that looked nothing like traditional political ad campaigns and spoke directly to our audiences.
We engaged infrequent voters of color early and often. For more than six months, we listened to and delivered content to voters about all of the reasons it’s important to vote -- and to vote for Biden-Harris. We produced more than 30 ads on COVID-19, the economy, health care, and racial justice -- the top issues for our audience according to our data -- which ran in both English and Spanish. The campaign ads ranged from upbeat videos inspired by iconic Latino cultural points (telenovelas and boxing promos) and a beauty innovation in Black women’s culture (acrylic nails) to personal ads about why union members in key states are voting for Biden. Our polling showed that positive Biden-Harris ads were far more effective than anti-Trump ads, so our content focused almost exclusively on Biden and Harris’s backgrounds and policy proposals.
The historic effort 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 delivered 450M+ content impressions, 169M video views and 1.35M clicks to program websites with voter registration and vote-by-mail information.