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Future Majority

Increasing Youth voter turnout in high-stakes elections

We ran a SABRE Award-winning campaign that inspired young people to vote in critical 2022 elections.


In 2020, voters under the age of 40 turned out in record numbers and delivered wins for President Joe Biden and House and Senate Democrats. Historical trends suggested that we would see lower youth voter turnout in the 2022 midterm elections.

With control of the U.S. House and Senate on the line, our client, Future Majority, sought to run a paid digital campaign to engage young voters in key jurisdictions, persuade them to turn out to vote, and impact elections in favor of Democratic candidates.


With a limited budget—a fraction of what we would expect for a corporate ad campaign—we faced two challenges: 

First, we needed to make empowering, impactful creative that would break through in a digital environment without shooting original video.

Second, we needed to identify the geographical and audience targets that would make the most efficient use of our client’s budget amid an incredibly crowded media landscape. 

A collage of the capitol building with a headline from The Washington Post that reads "Democrats Should be Worried About the Youth Vote

Creative Approach

Working in consultation with David Hogg and Jaclyn Corin, both of whom are youth activists and Parkland school shooting survivors, we settled on a strategy that would help young voters connect the dots between showing up to the polls in 2020 and progress on issues important to them, including student debt, climate, and gun safety. Our script language intentionally turned over ownership over key legislative victories to young voters themselves:

But we knew we couldn’t present those victories without making the stakes of the 2022 election clear. Without the same level of engagement from young voters as in 2020, America faced not only the reversal of progress, but also threats to democracy itself. 

We also sought to make the ads memorable by making them a little irreverent:

Targeting Approach

While advertising dollars flooded Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada, we saw an opportunity to make more efficient and impactful use of our resources in areas that weren’t seeing an oversaturation of political media. Rather than adding to the noise, we built a campaign with highly nuanced targeting around particular geographical areas:

Pennsylvania counties with higher concentrations of young progressive and independent voters, including Philadelphia, Allegheny, Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester. Higher youth turnout in these counties could make or break the elections for both Senate and governor.

In North Carolina, we focused narrowly on zip codes near Raleigh with high concentrations of our target audience, where a strong showing by young voters had the chance to sway the U.S. Senate race as well a neck-and-neck U.S. House race in North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District.

New Hampshire counties with higher concentrations of our target voters, including Hillsborough, Rockingham, Merrimack, and Strafford, in an effort to shore up Sen. Maggie Hassan’s reelection bid.

In each area, we targeted voters under 40 with an emphasis on voters 18–34.


Our campaign garnered over 13.7 million impressions and over 9 million completed video views to voters under the age of 40 across our geographical target areas. 

Pennsylvania: In Pennsylvania, the Democratic candidate won in both the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races. In a survey we fielded to gauge the impact of our campaign, we found that our ads boosted intent to vote by 11 percentage points. 

A poll question: "How likely are you to vote in the upcoming November election?" The graph shows that, when polled, Democrats, particularly, were more likely to vote in the upcoming election after being exposed to the ad creative by an increase of 11%.

The survey data, combined with the maps below comparing where our ads delivered to counties in which Democrats prevailed, bolster our working theory that higher youth voter turnout translates to Democratic wins.

Impressions by county
Pennsylvania midterm election results showing John Fetterman winning the senate race.
U.S. Senate election results by county
Pennsylvania midterm election results showing Josh Shapiro winning the governor's race.
Pennsylvania gubernatorial election results by county

North Carolina: In North Carolina’s 13th district, Democrat Wiley Nickel defeated Republican Bo Hines, one of the few such wins in a southern swing state. While we lost the Senate race, our survey data showed that in North Carolina, exposure to our ads increased intention to vote Democratic by 15 percentage points.

A graph shows that Democrats, particularly, were more likely to vote in the upcoming election after being exposed to our ad creative.

New Hampshire: In New Hampshire, Maggie Hassan won reelection. Due to audience sizes in New Hampshire, we were unable to get significant results back on our survey. However, in the five counties which received the greatest number of impressions in our ad campaign, Maggie Hassan won.

This campaign received a 2023 SABRE award in the category of Specialist Audience—Marketing to Youth.