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Campaign Solutions / Connell Donatelli Pioneer the Mobile Ad “Surge” for Online Campaigns

Groundbreaking Consulting Team Pioneers New Online Advertising Tactic

Alexandria, VA — It’s called the “Mobile Surge” and it looks like something straight out of the movie Minority Report. On behalf of the Michele Bachmann for Congress campaign, Campaign Solutions and Connell Donatelli unleashed the latest weapon in their online arsenal. Think of it as a Google “Surge” – this time, it’s for mobile devices only. And the experiment was highly successful. The Bachmann campaign had produced a television ad highlighting opponent Tarryl Clark’s record of taxing State Fair food. The challenge was to leverage this spot for persuasion on mobile devices.

Eric Frenchman, the team’s Chief Strategist, explains the twist on the new Mobile Surge: “Imagine you are standing on line at the Minnesota State Fair waiting to purchase a corn dog. You pull out your iPhone or Android and the only advertisement you see is this one highlighting Tarryl Clark’s votes for tax increases on State Fair food. That’s exactly what happened: in less than an hour, we served 12,500 geotargeted ad impressions to people within a 10 kilometer radius around the Fair.” So how did it perform? “Out of all new video views in the first day, 61% of the new YouTube views came in from iPhones and Android phones within the targeted radius at the State Fair.” Frenchman stressed, “when it comes to mobile advertising, it’s all about the apps, not the websites or search results.” This new strategy interacts with public opinion formation in real-time, as users experience an event. It’s groundbreaking stuff.

In 2007, Campaign Solutions and Connell Donatelli pioneered the web-based Google “Surge” (sometimes referred to as a “network blast”) for Bobby Jindal’s gubernatorial campaign. The original breakthrough occurred when Frenchmen realized that he could saturate roughly 95% of Google’s AdSense inventory for a given period of time. The tactic came to prominence in 2008 when Campaign Solutions/Connell Donatelli and the Yes on Prop. 8 campaign surged California for the critical 48 hours before the vote. One day later, California voters approved the measure 52.3% – 47.7%. It is now a commonly recognized tactic for all digital strategies.

Campaign Solutions President, Becki Donatelli, notes: “a Surge is most effective when concentrated around a seminal event, such as a phone your legislator day, a GOTV push, an election, or when a bill is introduced. Done properly, it creates immediate buzz, earned media, and a jolt in participation. Focusing it strictly to mobile devices, we took its effectiveness to the next level. We will look to use this for more of our Republican candidates and public affairs clients – now both on traditional and mobile devices.”

Campaign Solutions and Connell Donatelli are no strangers to innovation. Much of what are now standard online political tools and tactics were first designed and executed by members of their team including the first online political donation, the first online donor event, the first video donation appeal, the first online phone bank, the first “walk the vote,” the first Google Surge, and the list goes on and on.

For more information on Campaign Solutions and Connell Donatelli, please visit: or call (703) 684-3435.