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Washington Post: Pro-Clinton groups launch new ads targeted at female millennials

August 22, 2016

Washington Post: Pro-Clinton groups launch new ads targeted at female millennials

by Abby Phillip

Outside groups that back Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Monday expanded their targeting of female millennial voters online with a scathing and snarky viral advertising campaign against GOP rival Donald Trump.

The ads, created by Women Vote, the independent expenditure arm of Emily’s List, are part of a partnership between the group and the pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA Action. It aims to reach young women through sponsored content on viral media sites such as BuzzFeed and Elite Daily in the lead-up to Election Day.

“Younger women in particular are motivated to turn out and vote when they understand what’s at stake in the election regarding their issues and values,” said Denise Feriozzi, deputy executive director for Emily’s List. “And there’s no bigger demonstration of that than Donald Trump’s statements.”

The push is the latest in an effort by Clinton and her allies to connect with younger voters — especially young women — after a bruising Democratic primary in which many of them sided with her opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Polls, however, show that younger voters are choosing Clinton over Donald Trump by wide margins in the general election. In the latest Washington Post-ABC News survey, voters 29 years old and younger supported Clinton over Trump by a 26-percentage-point margin. And the newest USA Today-Rock the Vote poll found Clinton leading Trump 56 to 20 percent.

Samples of an ad campaign to attract female millennial voters to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. (Women Vote)
Still, many young voters say they feel disengaged and even apathetic about the choice they will face in November.

Two of the ads that went live on BuzzFeed on Monday use the site’s signature formats to deliver a sharply political message. Emily’s List and Priorities USA are the only groups working with the site to target millennial voters through native advertising.

A quiz titled “Hey, Ladies: What Does Donald Trump Want to Do to You?” asks women questions derived from Trump’s comments about women that are intended to elicit cringes from young women.

After providing their age, the quiz-takers are asked, “So are you a ‘young and beautiful piece of a--?’ ” — a reference to Trump’s comments in a 1991 Esquire interview.

The questions continue in a similar fashion, some quoting Trump’s most off-color commentary about women, and others highlighting his policy-related statements, including one in which he suggested that women who had abortions should be punished.

Respondents will be matched to one of four possible outcomes, all with the same point: reject Trump.

The GOP nominee would “make your life a living hell by being president,” the ad says. “We can’t afford a president who behaves that way. So make sure to shut down the most racist, sexist, hateful candidate of our lifetime!”

The push for female millennial voters is the latest effort by Clinton and her allies to connect with younger voters — especially young women — after a bruising Democratic primary. (Women Vote)
A second ad features animated videos of sentimental greeting cards that flip open to reveal Trump quotes inside.

On the inside of a “Happy Anniversary” greeting card, young women will find a quote of Trump’s in which he brags about never needing the male erectile dysfunction drug Viagra.

“Frankly, I wouldn’t mind if there were an anti-Viagra, something with the opposite effect,” he said. “I’m not bragging. I’m just lucky. I don’t need it. I’ve always said, if you need Viagra, you’re probably with the wrong girl.”

It is signed: “With love, from me & Donald.”

The “sponsored content” on Elite Daily — which brands itself as the voice of Generation Y — is slated to launch as early as September and is expected to take a more sober tone than the BuzzFeed ads. The groups have committed $500,000 to the native advertising campaign with viral news sites.

The BuzzFeed ads — three posts — were created with the site’s advertising team and staff for Emily’s List and Priorities USA. They will target women in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada and Pennsylvania through Facebook and other social-media sites. They will remain in circulation through the end of September and are targeted to reach at least 8.3 million “impressions,” which measures how many times an ad is loaded on a Web page.

It is part of a larger, $20 million digital media campaign aimed at millennial women that focuses on more traditional forms of outreach. Ads targeting young women play ahead of YouTube and other Web videos and they appear on Facebook, Instagram, and on other sites frequented by younger women, such as Refinery 29.

The use of sponsored content helps push political advertising methods closer in line with advertising techniques that are increasingly becoming popular with corporate advertisers and are also designed to target the millennial generation.

Young voters have long been a bedrock of the Democratic Party’s base, but the millennial generation is particularly unlikely to participate and is more drawn to appeals deemed “authentic.”

According to Scott Goodstein, whose firm Revolution Messaging was responsible for much of the Sanders campaign’s outreach to millennial voters, the 74-year-old avowed democratic socialist was able to tap into a desire among millennials for no-frills talk.

“I do think that the Hillary campaign should not try to patronize millennial voters in any way, shape or form and just give it to them straight,” Goodstein said, referring in general to millennial outreach in this election. “I don’t think that doing zany efforts for young voters is what millennial voters want.

“They want an authentic, real fact base,” he said.