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US Presidential Election: 5 Insights Into Trump And Clinton’s Ad Strategies

It’s less than a month to go till the end of what has seemed like the longest Presidential Election in US history and the gloves are certainly off.

So as we reach the business end of what has been one of the most divisive and controversial elections in living memory, which candidate is winning 2016’s online ad war?

The only need to cast your minds back to President Obama’s 2008 win to see how a smart digital strategy can have a dramatic influence on undecided voters.

Fast forward to 2016, and whose key messages are resonating more strongly with voters? Whose ad strategy is proving to be more effective in these crucial final months before polling day?

To help answer these questions, we used our content testing tool Unruly EQ to look at two competing ads from Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s election campaigns to see how effective they are.


From the Donald Trump campaign we chose:

Donald J. Trump – Make America Great Again



From Hillary’s camp, we chose:

Fighting For You | Hillary Clinton


To download the full insight paper, together with some nice fancy charts, click here.

In the meantime, here are five insights from the analysis:


1. Only 38% of viewers think Trump can make America great again


2. Both ads attracted higher-than-average feelings of contempt and disgust



3. Donald Trump’s messages are not resonating with Latino and African-American audiences…

Both Latino and African American viewers were far from impressed by Trump’s ad. The Republican nominee’s ad attracted weaker emotional responses, while the data also shows the ad’s favorability, authenticity, voting intent and intent to find out more were also below Clinton’s.


Insight Audience 1 = Latinos

Insight Audience 2 = African Americans


Meanwhile, African Americans responded better to Clinton’s ads than Latinos, with a good emotional response to the ad and a higher percentage wanting to find out more. Hillary’s ad was also deemed to be more shareable.


4. Or women

Of the women tested, 44% felt positive towards the messages in Clinton’s ad, higher than the US average of 34%. Trump, meanwhile, was below the US norm at 31%.


If you look at the emotional trace measuring at which point of the ads made people smile you can see why.


Hillary’s claim that any little girl can be anything she wants, even President of the United States, drove a huge peak in smiles among females, indicating that this statement was a key driver of pride, inspiration and happiness for this group.

Meanwhile, smiles from female viewers were a lot less common throughout Trump’s video.



5. Clinton’s ad was more likely to get viewers endorsing her

The positive emotions evoked by Clinton’s campaign and clear campaign messaging also caused more people to want to talk about her campaign or recommend their friends to vote for her.



Obviously, it’s far too early to say which candidate is winning the ad war, but of the two ads Unruly has tested so far it looks like Clinton’s more positive message is resonating more strongly than the negative stance taken by Trump’s campaign.