As politicians scrambled to get last-minute votes during the New Hampshire primary, they looked to digital media to help turn politically interested online users into committed campaign supporters. The state's voters are notorious for making 11th-hour decisions.
Bernie Sanders hoped that Snapchat filters, effects that can be put over photos, would compel millennials to get out and vote. The campaign bought regional-based filters for nine days in Iowa and five days in New Hampshire. Sources say the pricey ads can run five figures a day, with a full campaign buy running around $200,000 to $300,000.
"Bernie has had a great message for the time that we're in right now. It resonates a lot with millennials and others. We're just trying to make sure that people are seeing that message," said Keegan Goudiss, partner and head of advertising at Revolution Messaging, which is leading Sanders' digital efforts.
According to research firm Borrell Associates, digital media ad spending during the 2016 political election is expected to exceed $1 billion, a 5,000 percent increase from 2008.
When it comes to reaching the masses, Facebook is still the best social tool. Goudiss said out of the major platforms, Facebook excelled at helping Sanders identify which users cared about the same issues he was campaigning for, and then helping him post advertising that those people would see.
"I believe that one of the fastest growing demographics on Facebook are people 55 and up," Goudiss said. "We're trying to reach out to everybody who cares about (Sanders') message, people who care about these issues."