Case Study

Standing Out in a Crowded Field

Using hyper-targeted video to boost name recognition in a down-ballot election

After more than two decades of public service as an attorney at the local, state, and federal levels, Nadine Jean Wichern sought to further serve her community by running for Circuit Court Judge in the 20th Subcircuit of Cook County.

Down-ballot candidates can often struggle to gain name recognition. Aware of the challenge of standing out in a competitive election, Nadine’s campaign aimed to create a personal and relatable messaging campaign that was hyper-targeted to the relatively small number of voters in the district. As part of that strategy, Nadine’s team partnered with Civic Matters to create video content that would demonstrate her connection to the community and help voters remember her name when they went to the polls.

Instead of solely focusing on her legal achievements, Civic Matters worked with the campaign to craft scripts for several videos that centered on Nadine's personal journey and commitment to public service. To showcase Nadine’s connection to Chicago’s Northside, we selected identifiable locations around Lakeview and Lincoln Square for the shoots.

Filming in public presents a unique set of challenges. Factors like background noise, traffic, and weather are often beyond our control. By utilizing a small crew with a small footprint and lots of preparation with the client, we embraced these challenges, and let Nadine's wind-whipped hair and her strong delivery show her as a true Chicagoan.

With footage in hand (and archival photos provided by the campaign), we edited a 60-second overview video for the campaign’s website, and three 20-second clips for social media. Each social media video was delivered in both 16:9 and 1:1 aspect ratios. In the final ten days of the election, the campaign ran ads using the shorter videos on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, targeting voters in the district.

Table of election results for 20th Subcircuit from Chicago Board of Elections

Nadine received more than half of the 42,220 votes cast in the election.

The result? The videos received tens of thousands of views, and in a four-way race, Nadine won her election by more than a 2-to-1 margin. With other candidates relying on more traditional outreach like text message blasts, Nadine's video strategy helped boost name recognition with voters that mattered. As campaign manager Ryan O’Malley recalled, “People were coming out of polling places and saying, ‘I saw your videos, and you got my vote!’”

How Can Video Marketing Further Your Mission?

To learn more about planning an effective video marketing campaign to support your nonprofit’s success, contact Civic Matters for a consultation.


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