Presidential Launch Series: Klobuchar & Harris

 In Presidential Launch Blog Series

Although the Iowa caucuses are a little over a year away (with the general election even further away), several Democrats are already launching campaigns to take on Donald Trump in 2020. Join us on this series as we talk through the strengths and weaknesses of each digital campaign launch. Next up in the series are Senators Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris.


Amy Klobuchar:

Amy: Wow, her custom captions were really hard to read in that video.

Evelyn: She doesn’t have a lot of ads running, which I’m surprised by.

Sara: I did think it was interesting that she had filmed one of those donate ads before her announcement speech (it was the same coat that she was wearing). Clearly it was filmed that day, which is smart because everyone interested in her watched that announcement video of her in the snow.

Amy: She’s running what feels like a very midwestern campaign. I felt like being in her living room…straight to camera…it seemed very midwestern.

Evelyn: It felt like a great Senate video or Governor video.

Sara: Totally agree! It did not feel like a presidential video to me with all the stock footage.

Evelyn: I liked that she talked about issues, but even after just watching the video, I can’t really repeat anything back to you.

Amy: Also, after looking at some of the other candidate ads, these ads are looking very cookie-cutter. I don’t know what her voice is still.

Mariel: The video really leaned on the bio. It was super aspirational and I appreciated that, but there were no specific ideas she had that set her apart in any way.

Sara: There are some candidate videos that talk about the problems, like billionaires and banks trying to get a bigger slice of the pie. The only ‘sort of’ villian in Klobuchar’s video is “grid lock.”

Evelyn: Divisiveness, yeah. Have you guys also noticed that all of these ads are in third-person voice, not first person? For example, “Amy Klobuchar is running for president…” It doesn’t talk about us, it’s not inclusive.

Amy: I do feel like it’s harder for her because not many people know who she is, so she does have to explain who she is, but I don’t think the video did that well.

Evelyn: She needed a strong video to catapult her more and this video did not do that for me.

Amy: Also, she has disclaimers on all of her ad images. That’s unique. Probably want to be extra safe.

Evelyn: Final thoughts on Amy Klobuchar?

Mariel: I think for someone like her who has lower name ID, she needed to go a little bit of an extra mile to really push it so people would remember her and I don’t think she did.

Evelyn: She doesn’t talk about Kavanaugh! That’s how we know her.

Sara: You read my mind! I feel like what catapulted her into the position to run for president was Kavanaugh. She was the most outspoken and toughest on Kavanaugh and that was great. It does seem like a missed opportunity to not mention it in her launch video. Maybe that’s part of her strategy to position herself as a moderate and not wanting to get into that, but it does seem like a missed opportunity with the base.

Amy: I wonder if she’s trying to reach out to the midwest and is worried that if she does talk about Kavanaugh, that’ll put off too many conservatives.


Kamala Harris:

Sara: Funky music in that video.

Mariel: Yeah, I liked it a lot.

Amy: I liked the little clips of her speaking.

Evelyn: There’s no button on these lead ads.

Sara: Maybe they’re testing that.

Amy: She has a border around her ads to keep it consistent. I like it.

Evelyn: I like how clean this ‘Legalize It’ ad is. Just simple.

Amy: I like her colors. She has many different colors, but they’re just so bold. I can tell that it’s her ad.

Evelyn: This ad that puts Trump in her brand colors is pretty fun.

Sara: To me, these are some of the best ads in terms of branding consistency. When I see her ads in the feed, I know that they’re hers.

Amy: I think it’s smart of her to use the bright yellow, too.

Mariel: She made very strategic choices to stand out and I think part of it is that donate ads are such a thing that the colors help you recognize the ad immediately. I feel like that matters.

Amy: We also have felt so bleak for the past few years, so having something vibrant is attractive.

Sara: You know what I think is interesting, too? One of her ads says, “Will you add your name to join our campaign email list?” Very specific. I want to try that!

Amy: This is very much her voice.

Evelyn: I am surprised she’s leaning on this justice angle…broken criminal justice. Is that a salient issue for people? Does it drive people to vote?

Amy: A lot of the other candidates are talking about the fair shot and I think that’s a little more accessible.

Sara: Yeah, given that the only bipartisan thing that’s happened in awhile is the criminal justice reform bill in Congress…maybe she sees thinking ahead.

Amy: I’m noticing that there’s a lot of smiling Kamala Harris.

Sara: Especially if people know her as a tough prosecutor.

Evelyn: Noticing the capitalization is a little different in her ads. I like that she’s using some longer buttons in the graphics…don’t normally see that.

Amy: I like the purple, too. I like the half border. Looks really nice.

Evelyn: Her announcement email was really long.

Amy: Those buttons!

Sara: It’s Beto’s old email firm, so I bet she’ll be sending a lot of longer emails.

Evelyn: Final thoughts on Kamala?

Amy: I think a strong launch. She’s one of the few that I saw that she launched and I immediately started getting ads.

Evelyn: Yep. Good bio video. Big rally. She’s had the presence online. Only criticism are these themes…she said this in her video, too…Decency, Justice…I like the echo in the video and the email, but I want her to show me, not tell me.

Sara: In terms of the digital rollouts, hers is unquestionably the strongest. They’ve sustained the ads that they’re running. I see her in my feed all the time. I think they’ve sustained a lot of momentum post-launch.

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