A pro-Democrat super PAC is hoping to shame young voters into heading to the polls this November, telling them that if they do not vote, everyone will be able to know it.
Priorities USA is using ads currently running on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, as well as YouTube and streaming music services. They employ a technique they refer to as “social pressure,” to drive voter turnout, Axios reported.
“Who you vote for is secret. But whether you decide to cast a vote or not is public,” one ad says. “So keep making your community proud this November.”
Another ad shows a stick figure named Bob, which it uses as an example of someone who failed to maintain an up-to-date registration.
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“This is Bob,” it says. “Bob liked posting that he voted in 2020 … But we know he let his voter registration get out of date. Don’t be like Bob.”
Priorities USA executive director Aneesa McMillan described the approach to Axios as “a light-hearted, almost comical way of addressing it in a sense of trying to get folks to understand kind of the community aspect of voting.”
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Fox News reached out to Priorities USA asking if they have seen an uptick in voting from such a strategy in the past. They did not immediately respond, but their website notes that in the 2020 election they had 492 “persuasion and mobilization ads” that were “tested in randomized control areas.”
The site also boasts that the organization has 582 “progressive activists trained on digital advertising best practices.”
“We have an entire research apparatus that we have built upon since 2017 to make sure that our targeting and tactics are accurate,” McMillan said.
According to Axios, Priorities USA spent nearly $200,000 on this latest ad campaign, and that data shows that it is targeting areas in the hotly contested states of Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Facebook and Instagram ads are specifically being featured in zip codes that include universities and urban areas — both of which tend to lean towards Democrats – while rural areas – often Republican – are excluded.