The 2019 Reed Award winners were recognized this past week at the Reed Awards Conference and Ceremony in Austin, Texas, which featured plenty of stand-out campaign work produced by firms all across the political spectrum.
You can view the full list of winners, from digital advertising to direct mail and fundraising to television ads here.
Some of the creative trends we noticed from this year’s work and are worth highlighting as the campaign world pivots to 2020: the prominence of longform digital, a willingness to push creative boundaries, and higher-quality production from resource-strapped campaigns.
One of the clearest political media trends from the past cycle: a greater focus on longform digital creative.
Whether it was with campaign launch videos that helped candidates raise money online and garner early media attention in their races, or in creative longer-form storytelling aimed at driving a message and connecting with supporters, digital longform gained prominence this cycle.
Just a handful of the longform standouts recognized by our judges this year:
Campaign: Lucy McBath for Congress
Campaign: Mike Hunter for Attorney General
Campaign: Giffords and March for Our Lives
Pushing the Creative Boundaries
There’s a fair amount of boilerplate work produced in political media. So it’s genuinely exciting to see campaigns and strategists pushing the creative boundaries with digital and TV creative.
This year’s Reed Awards featured more of that work than we’ve seen in recent campaign cycles. A few of the standouts:
Campaign: Mike Braun for U.S. Senate
Campaign: ACRONYM’s “Knock the Vote” campaign
Campaign: Max Rose for Congress
For this year’s Reed Awards, C&E introduced a new category group for bootstrapped campaigns. This category group was focused on work done for campaigns that were at a resource disadvantage. Smaller campaigns routinely face resource allocation decisions that make internal battles for share of budget and strategic decision-making even more difficult to navigate.
As many of this year’s nominees demonstrated, bootstrapped campaigns produced some excellent creative in 2018, proving that even absent a large budget, you can produce campaign-changing work.
A couple of the highlights from this category group: A spot for a local DA race in Texas, which was produced by the candidate’s sister and took home the Reed Award for Best Web Video for Bootstrapped Campaign, and the spot that ended up taking home the Reed Award for Best TV Ad: “Paul Gosar Is Not Working for You.”
Campaign: Reid McCain for Harrison County District Attorney
Campaign: David Brill for Congress
You can see all the winning Reed Awards work here.