Republican Attorneys General Association
“Unity” was the closing ad for Ashley Moody’s successful campaign for Florida Attorney General. In addition to showcasing the breadth of her support among Sunshine State Sheriffs, the ad had three objectives: First, contrast Moody’s experience as a judge and prosecutor with her opponent’s relative lack of experience; second, quickly and credibly disarm attacks made in Shaw’s recent ads; and third, appeal to Independents and soft Democrats by demonstrating bipartisan support for her candidacy.
“Radical” was the second ad in Ashley Moody’s General Election campaign and her opponent, Sean Shaw, had aired an attack only days before. “Radical” was rapidly cut and shipped so it could run at the same time. The purpose of the ad was two-fold: First, blunt Shaw’s attacks without amplifying them. Since the ads were running simultaneously, “Radical” was engineered to visually “inhabit” Shaw’s attack ad—discrediting his attacks and leveling our own within the same visual space. Second, polling showed that Florida voters expected their Attorney General to be the state’s top prosecutor, so we highlighted Shaw’s unfitness for the post, closing with this line: “Shaw’s never even prosecuted a case. His first one, shouldn’t be as Attorney General.”
The $60 million battle over Amendment 3 was undoubtedly one of Florida’s largest and most controversial. “Voting Booth” was designed to creatively and memorably explain the issue, cast the choice in clear terms and appeal to voters’ desire to empower themselves.
The job of Amendment 3’s opponents was simple: create fear, uncertainty and doubt about the measure (e.g. it would harm education, jobs, etcetera). The job of “Big Sky” was complex: credibly disarm opponents’ education-related attacks on Amendment 3, offer a plausible motivation for those attacks, show voters the popular and poll-tested ballot language, repeat our voter-empowerment argument, make a YES vote feel ‘safe’ by referencing ‘other states’ and close with clarity by showcasing editorial support.
Florida’s 8th Senate District is home to one of the state’s liberal bastions: The University of Florida. While surrounding rural and exurban areas make the seat competitive for the right Republican, statewide GOP candidates typically lose the district, which has been trending blue. Last cycle’s “blue wave” didn’t bode well for Keith Perry—a middle-aged white man running against a female doctor in a college town—and SD8 was billed as a prime pickup opportunity for Democrats. Millions were spent in this swing district and Consensus served as media consultant to the campaign and the Florida Republican Senate Campaign Committee, cutting a series of ads that injected humanity and humor, showed Keith to be a likeable problem-solver and created “commonsense” contrasts that stemmed the blue tide in suburban areas surrounding Gainesville. Ultimately, Perry overcame a tough year, a tough opponent and changing demographics with help from relatable, honest and (occasionally) humorous ads, one of which went on to win a national award.
“Twinkle Means Business” is an ad that is custom-made for Alabama: It’s bold, memorable and overtly combative. Alabama’s PSC President is elected statewide and our goal was to leverage limited resources to maximum effect. The result was a :30 digital and TV spot that made use of the candidate’s unusual name to drive Name ID, cultivate an “outsider appearance,” and break through the clutter of a busy election season.
in 2018, Consensus served as media consultant for a 7-figure digital advertising campaign to defeat Amendment 1 in Florida. This campaign proved to be the only successful “NO” campaign in Florida in 2018 (out of a dozen), unexpectedly bringing down a popular and seemingly uncontroversial measure.
Florida’s 16th Senate District was widely considered one of Democrats’ top pickup opportunities. The high-profile resignation of the previous officeholder (a Republican) and the leftward trajectory of the district made moderate Democrat Amanda Murphy a strong candidate for the seat. Consensus served as media consultant for Republican Senate Campaigns, creating TV and digital advertising, including this :30 and :15 set—which was also part of a broader series that highlighted Murphy’s weaknesses in the resonant and memorable “Jeopardy” format. The TV and digital—of which there were several variants—worked seamlessly across platforms and helped power a Republican victory.
In 2017, New Jersey’s 2nd Senate District proved a rare bright spot for the GOP in an otherwise tough off-year election season. Working with the Republican State Leadership Committee, Consensus created the state’s “Legislative Ad of the Year” (Insider NJ). Unlike many ads from national political organizations, “Dice” was highly localized. It revolved around the expansion of gambling to north Jersey—something devoutly opposed by the district’s south Jersey voters, who sought to defend their area’s economic lifeblood.
In 2018, the Republican State Leadership Committee invested heavily in a Pennsylvania Special Election for HD48. Republicans had not controlled the seat since 1988 and their candidate, retired Army Ranger Tim O’Neal, had hit a ceiling (6-points down) with only weeks to go. Consensus’ digital and TV ad (dubbed “Junior”) proved a game-changer for O’Neil, scoring 35,000 hits on YouTube and ultimately giving the GOP an 11-point victory. Newsmax called the PA win “the biggest upset of the year.”
In Florida, the $60 million battle over Amendment 3 was years in the making, involving some of the country’s most powerful industries and necessitating a wide array of websites, digital programs and broadcast advertising. We selected this 2018 case study to illustrate the breadth and versatility of our work as a media consultant and web developer. In some cases, we sought to persuade voters. In other cases, we targeted opinion leaders or earned media outlets. In every case, the media strategy was cohesive and goal-oriented. The result was a 71% victory.
As the sponsors of Florida’s “Amendment 3” initiative, Voters in Charge required a complex website that could accommodate tens of thousands of daily visits (due to digital advertising traffic) and serve a variety of functions, including as a grassroots platform, rapid-response outlet, and digital storefront for the amendment campaign. Our site was heavily search-engine optimized, scoring first place on nearly every relevant google search by the end of the campaign, and was available in both English and Spanish. View the Site.
After a robust series of focus groups and polling, we determined that one of the top “selling points” for Amendment 3 was that it took time-consuming (and widely covered) gambling issues out of the hands of politicians, allowing them to instead focus on issues like education and traffic reduction. Most voters felt that gambling issues—which had dominated several consecutive legislative sessions—were a “time suck” that distracted lawmakers from more important issues. This message was easily serialized via different iterations of a Facebook carousel. For example, it enabled us to target “education voters” and “healthcare voters” with YES on 3 messages that may not have resonated otherwise.
In Florida, voters can be hesitant to vote YES on constitutional amendments because of the perceived “risk” of altering the status quo. To reduce the perceived risk—and to magnify grassroots support—we created a series of Facebook ads that celebrated local straw poll victories. The colorful series proved to be a favorite among supporters, who readily shared.
A combination of colorful graphics and simple gifs helped drive engagement for this down-ballot issue and reinforce the underlying theme of the campaign: Amendment 3 empowers VOTERS, not politicians. A battery of broadcast, cable, radio and digital pre-roll advertising layered atop this thematic foundation, bringing more specific messages to bear.
Every year, over 120 million people visit Florida, making it a prime expansion target for Las Vegas-style casino gambling. International gaming interests poured millions into a slick, polished effort to secure public support for casinos, including a website promoting their venture called, “BestForFlorida.” Consensus was tapped to run the digital counter-campaign, which included a “spoof site” that parodied “BestForFlorida” called, “LessForFlorida.” The spoof site reproduced the “look and feel” of the pro-gambling website but edited, marked-up and scratched out misleading words, phrases and messages. The move galvanized gambling opposition in the legislature, earned media attention and shifted the course of debate in favor of our client’s issues and terms. View a mockup of the site here.