Democrats are finding out that it’s good to have a lot of money.
Flush with a recent surge of cash, the Democratic National Committee is launching a wave of unconventional ads this week encouraging people to vote for Joe Biden in the 2020 election, a new effort party officials hope will reach pockets of the electorate unlikely to see digital or TV ads.
The ads — which will run in the battleground states of Nevada, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin — will appear in a range of unusual locations, including aerial banners, gas station TVs, and messages chalked into city sidewalks.
The DNC has even rented space on the world’s second largest billboard in Las Vegas. That ad, located on the Strip, encourages people to make a plan to cast a ballot by mail, at an early voting location, or on Election Day itself.
All of the ads refer viewers to the DNC website IWillVote.com, which offers voting instructions.
“These innovative and impossible to miss advertising tactics are supplementing Democrats’ traditional paid media programs and ensure we’re reaching voters with the information they need to make their plan to vote,” said David Bergstein, a DNC spokesman. “Whether they’re up in the sky, on a massive billboard or running on the side of a bus, these are the types of advertising placements that cut through the noise in the final weeks of the campaign.”
Party officials said they hope the ads will be particularly effective for people spending more time outdoors during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. For those commuting to work, Democrats are aiming to reach them with ads on the side of a bus or a mobile billboard. Other messages will be placed as print ads inside of barbershops and salons.
Officials also stress that the ads — backed by a seven-figure investment — amounts to only a small complement to Biden’s broader campaign, which includes a fleet of TV and digital ads.
But the extra effort is possible because Democrats have seen a surge in donations in the final stretch of the race, especially since the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The Biden campaign, in conjunction with the DNC, began September with more than $450 million on hand, $100 million more than President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee.
That cash advantage has helped Biden not only run more TV and digital ads than Donald Trump this fall, it’s helped him buy substantially more radio ads.