If you had 300 seconds to tell a compelling story, connect with millions of viewers, and make the case for a progressive economic plan — how would you do it?
When Senator Elizabeth Warren was tasked with this challenge for the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Blue State helped make those 300 seconds count.
Deciding on the message
The team needed to communicate and balance multiple objectives: highlight Warren as an individual, her platform as Senator, the struggles of the moment, and how a progressive agenda could help get our country working for everyone.
The Senator wanted to focus her message on economic stability in the wake of COVID-19, how this crisis has disproportionately impacted Black and brown families, and how the Biden administration will build back better.
Making all of those a priority in less than five minutes required a compelling, personal, emotional story that enabled viewers to connect.
Building a thriving economy that puts families at the center is something Senator Warren has championed for years. As a young, working single mother, Warren nearly gave up on her dream career due to lack of child care. Luckily, her Aunt Bee was able to move in with her family to help out.
Not everyone has an Aunt Bee, and that’s why Senator Warren is passionate about building economic infrastructure — from child care all the way to roads and bridges — that supports working families.
Personal, emotional, relevant — this was the story we had to tell.
Staging presents an opportunity to deliver your message as powerfully as anything else. When scouting for a venue, we needed something that connected to child care, highlighted the impact of COVID-19, and brought to life the impact of Senator Warren’s words.
An elementary center (closed, due to the pandemic) in Massachusetts was the perfect backdrop for her message.
Using the space to make every pixel on the screen count for the millions watching, we sprinkled multiple campaign messages to catch the viewer’s eye and the media’s attention. Children’s block letters spelled out “BLM” for Black Lives Matter, the numbers 11 – 03 – 20 arranged to remind people to vote this November 3rd, and a child-size postal worker costume to show support for the USPS.
A Twitter thread highlighted each of these Easter eggs, which drove high engagement online and extended the conversation beyond the speech itself.
The Balancing Act
The final product to meet this moment was working with the principal on an effective, visually engaging, 300-second speech. Yet, it was the behind-the-scenes stakeholder management, communication with the press, and the earned and social media that reinforced the value of a holistic approach. And, we’re continually working with the Warren Democrats team to craft messaging and videos and plug into rapid-response moments —like this recent piece in response to President Trump’s tax returns.
Over 22 million people tuned in on Wednesday night of the Democratic National Convention. The speech was well received by the media and supporters — as well as high-profile elected officials like AOC, progressive candidates like Pramila Jayapal, and groups such as Indivisible — proving that emotional storytelling and personal connections to your audience drive real results.
22million+ TV viewers
240thousand+ video views on Senator Warren’s Twitter account
260thousand+ video views on Senator Warren’s Facebook