3 Digital Video Tips for A Ballot Measure Campaign

Apr 15, 2019
Four young adults standing in a circle looking at their phones,. Their faces are barely visible.

Persuade and Educate the Public about Your Ballot Measure Campaign

If you’re running a ballot measure campaign, chances are you’ll need to educate and persuade voters in order to get the results you want at the polls. The best digital tactic for education and persuasion is video as it gives you more room than a static ad to explain what the measure is for and how you want people to vote on it. Make sure your video meets digital advertising best practices so it moves the needle on your ballot measure campaign. Below are 3 simple tweaks you can make to your video to make sure it’s set up for success online.


  1. Begin your video with the message you want viewers to take away. Most people working on political campaigns are more familiar with TV ads, which typically build up to a final message at the end of the ad. But viewers don’t tend to change the channel from TV ads as quickly as they scroll away from digital ads. Because of the scrolling and skippable nature of most online video advertising, you need to make sure you get your message across in the first few seconds of your video. For example, you might start with “vote yes on ballot x”. You may only have a few seconds to hold their attention so use it wisely.
  2. Viewers should be able to understand your video without the sound on. People often browse the internet when they aren’t expecting to have the audio on, like when they’re at work or on public transportation. As a result, publishers are moving away from videos that auto-play with the sound on. To make sure viewers still get the full message of your video, make sure you use subtitles or chyrons throughout so they can follow along without unmuting the ad. Some publishers like Facebook even provide subtitles for free—you’ll just want to review them carefully to make sure they match your audio. Try watching your video without sound on to see if it still makes sense and gets your full message across.
  3. Shorter is usually better. While a ballot measure can sometimes be tough to explain succinctly, you’ll want to do your best to make your video as brief as you can. People tend to have short attention spans online so we don’t recommend creating a video ad longer than 30-seconds. You should also plan to make even shorter videos at 15- and 6-seconds. Generally speaking, we’ve found the following breakdown for each ad length.
    • 30-second ads: We typically see lower video completion-rates on 30-second ads as people are often not willing to stick with an ad that long. That said, we tend to see higher engagement rates (clicks, for example) with longer videos. We think this may be due to the longer length providing more opportunities to engage and that people who watch the longer ads are more engaged overall. You’ll still want to get to the heart of your message in the first few seconds, but you can spend the rest of the ad persuading and educating people about the ballot measure.
    • 15-second ads: We find that these generally have the most inventory and are critical for reaching scale with video ads. We also see higher video-completion rates with 15-second ads than 30-second ads. Like all digital videos, you’ll want to get your core message out right away, but you can include key persuasion points after that message to get people on board.
    • 6-second ads: Often called bumper ads, 6-second video ads (not surprisingly) tend to have the highest video-completion rate and are great awareness drivers. In political advertising, they are often used for GOTV. For a ballot measure, you would likely include just your main message—what the ballot number is and how you want people to vote on it.


Plan your digital video campaign the right way. Check out our blog on jump-starting your digital campaign to make sure you have everything you need in place to get your ads to the right audience.

Ballot Measure Advertising

Ballot Initiative, Ballot Measure, ballot measure planning, ballot initiative strategy, Ballot Initiatives