On June 6, 2017 voters in New Jersey went to the polls and nominated Phil Murphy as the Democratic candidate for Governor. He won a five-way primary with over 48% of the vote, and SBDigital was a key part of the team that helped him secure the nomination.
This impressive victory was not a foregone conclusion. When SBDigital began working on the campaign, Phil Murphy’s name barely registered among Democratic primary voters in New Jersey. Meanwhile, the two presumptive frontrunners (State Senate President Steve Sweeney and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop) had near universal name ID.
Once Phil Murphy announced his candidacy in May 2016 - over a year out from the primary - SBDigital began a targeted digital program. We delivered display and video ads to ‘elites’-- a highly influential group of opinion leaders, elected officials and Democratic Party players in New Jersey -- informing them of Murphy’s story, as well as upcoming events, endorsements, policy stances, and more.
SBDigital worked closely with the Murphy campaign to develop detailed vote goals and ran an aggressive digital and grassroots campaign in key counties that used display and video ads to engage hundreds of thousands of likely Democratic primary voters across the state. These ads were an integral part of establishing Murphy’s credentials as a progressive who is reaching out to a Democratic base that yearns for an outsider.
After months of constant engagement and communication with this group of key voters, the Murphy for Governor campaign increased both name recognition and support among Democratic primary voters, showing key party influencers (the ‘elites’) that he was a force to be reckoned with.
SBDigital’s targeted digital program also helped Murphy to win the endorsement of every Democratic County Committee, and on October 6th of 2016, five months after Murphy announced that he was running for Governor, his two most viable rivals left the race and endorsed his candidacy.
By engaging and communicating with a hyper-targeted universe of likely primary voters throughout the campaign, SBDigital was able to help Phil Murphy resoundingly receive the nomination to be the Democratic Nominee for Governor of New Jersey.