As Saskatchewan geared up for a provincial election in November 2020, the Canadian Union of Public Employees-Saskatchewan turned to Campaign Gears for help. With the second wave of the pandemic hitting hard, digital campaigning was going to be at a premium, with more competition than ever for peoples’ attention online.
Working with Campaign Gears, CUPE Saskatchewan wanted to connect ballot box choices to core issues related to public services — education, long term care, and the affordability of life, which all felt even more critical in light of the pandemic and the right-wing Saskatchewan Party’s mishandling of the public health response.
Granted a small budget for a video ad on a tight deadline, Campaign Gears decided on a practical approach. With our filmmaking constrained by COVID-19 restrictions, we kept it simple: we would do an online shoot, then intersperse the footage with stock video and motion graphic text.
We interviewed three people on Zoom, all of whom were directly affected (the most persuasive messengers are always peers who live the issues themselves). There was a parent concerned about the Saskatchewan Party’s disastrous back-to-school plan; someone anxious about their father, living in a long-term care home; and a caretaker who works with special needs students but had to take a second job because he is so poorly paid.
The video was completed in just five days — a three-minute-long version as well as three 45-second versions to be used in further ads. The video ad received tons of engagement, including many comments. In organic-posts, the video got around 61k views. For its paid ad variations, it garnered 696,194 total views, with the campaign spending only $2,760.
Of all the work that Campaign Gears did during this election, video was the most cost-effective way – in ad dollars spent – to get the message out. That holds for just about any campaign.