Biden campaign makes case to Latino and Black voters with new radio ads

The Biden campaign launched radio ads Tuesday on Black- and Hispanic-owned radio stations in battleground states across the country as part of a multimillion-dollar effort to court Black and Latino voters more than a year ahead of the 2024 election.

The ads are part of a $25 million, 16-week advertising campaign aimed at swing-state voters, and they constitute a larger and earlier advertising push than Barack Obama and Donald Trump undertook in their reelection campaigns. The ads also are the earliest-ever paid investment in Black and Hispanic radio for a Democratic reelection effort, the Biden campaign said.

“Tapping into trusted messengers early with such a robust radio buy is the latest example of how we’re showing up and meeting Black and Latino voters where they are,” Julie Chavez Rodriguez, President Biden’s campaign manager, said in a statement.

The radio ads come as Democrats look to shore up support from Black and Latino voters. Black voters are the party’s most loyal constituency, and a majority of Latino voters back Democratic candidates, but there has been concern among some leaders about a potential drop in their turnout or Republican gains with those blocs.

Black and Latino Democratic leaders for years have urged the party to invest earlier in outreach to their communities, and the Biden campaign has emphasized that it is listening.

“This time, we have to make sure we are focused in on the very folks that will help us win in 2024,” said Terrance Green, the founder of Truxton Creative. He is overseeing the Biden campaign’s strategy and creative and media planning on Black outreach. “So, starting now is one of the most intentional acts that we can make to let African American voters know that they matter.”

In the ads, the campaign touts what the Biden administration says it has accomplished for Black and Latino families.

In a 30-second ad, a narrator highlights that Biden signed a racial-equity executive order on his first day in office to increase investment in Black communities, and “since that day his policies have made a real difference for Black America.” The ad points to Biden’s creating jobs and capping the cost of insulin at $35 for seniors.

In a 60-second ad, a narrator also highlights that Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman to serve as a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

“Joe and Kamala are getting it done, for us — and that’s the facts,” the narrator says.

The ads targeting Black voters will run nationally via syndicated outlets and locally on stations in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and North Carolina. They will air on shows with national reach, such as “The D.L. Hughley Show,” “The Breakfast Club” and “The Steve Harvey Morning Show.”

“For an African American audience, radio hosts and these radio platforms are the original influencers,” Green said. “This is how we drive conversation, share perspectives and organize.”

The Spanish-language radio ad focuses on the theme of “us” — or “nosotros” — in reference to the Latino community. In the 60-second ad, a narrator says that Republicans claim to support Latinos but work for the rich and powerful while Biden is fighting for Latino businesses and families to get ahead. The ad points to what it says is growth in Latino small-business ownership and a decrease in Latino unemployment under the Biden administration.

“The difference between who the others fight for and who Joe Biden fights for is clear. Joe Biden fights for us,” the narrator says.

There are two versions of the ad — one with a Puerto Rican accent for Latinos in Pennsylvania and another with a Mexican accent focused on Latinos in the Southwest.

The Latino-focused radio spot will start on Spanish-language stations in Arizona and Nevada. In the coming weeks, it will air on terrestrial radio and digital audio streaming platforms in key states including Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and North Carolina.

Adrian Saenz, the head of firm Conexión and leader of the Biden campaign’s strategy and creative and media planning for Latino-focused ads, said radio is a critical medium for targeting Hispanics, given that it is a trusted platform with huge reach.

More than 90 percent of Black and Latino adults tune in to radio monthly — figures higher than the radio listenership in the general population, according to Nielsen. Spanish-dominant audiences are in the top ranks for listenership among U.S. adults ages 18 to 49.

This radio ad buy, Saenz said, is intended to continue driving the narrative that Biden is “fighting for us, fighting for our community, fighting for Latinos.”

“I’m looking at this as just the first phase of a longer conversation that we’re starting with Black voters as we head into November of 2024,” Green said.

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