Progressive powerhouse MoveOn aims to help bring down presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, and to do that the group is steering away from its former earned media-centric strategy toward Facebook video.
The organization recently assembled a small team of in-house video producers for its Video Lab. The first video to emerge from the team features progressive darling Senator Elizabeth Warren with a passionate message, calling Mr. Trump "a fraud," "cheapskate" and "bully."
"The last time Donald Trump's taxes were made public, it turned out that Donald Trump paid nothing in federal taxes," states Ms. Warren in a video intended to convince voters that the real estate tycoon's business relies on federally funded infrastructure and services that he does not support through his tax dollars. "And for all we know, he's paying zero taxes today. And he's proud of it," continued the Massachusetts lawmaker.
"It is hard to talk about Donald Trump. Between his ignorance, his racism, his sexism, his lies, it is actually hard to know where to start," she added in a video that MoveOn says was viewed nearly 1.9 million times on Facebook in the first seven hours of its release yesterday.
MoveOn has been a vocal supporter of the senior senator and launched its Run Warren Run effort in January 2015 in the hopes of propelling a 2016 Warren presidential run. The group shut it down six months later and endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination. Today, while the group has yet to officially endorse Hillary Clinton, it has set its sights on opposing Mr. Trump.
"Our members are very clear that they think Donald Trump's combination of racism, misogyny and bigotry ... is dangerous and unacceptable," said Nick Berning, communications director for MoveOn.org.
The low-budget video effort cost less than $10,000 according to Mr. Berning and is indicative of MoveOn's media strategy to persuade and mobilize voters this election. In the past, the group has relied on minimal TV ad buys to fuel earned media coverage of its messages, but that's changed.
"Our analysis has been that the value of [paid TV] in political campaigns has been diminishing pretty rapidly," said Mr. Berning. "Our theory of how to carry our message this election really relies on our members sharing content organically."
MoveOn hired four people for its recently formed video lab. "This is the first video that has come out with the full staff hired and on board," said Mr. Berning. "We're working with other prominent progressives on future videos that we'll be releasing that are similar."
The group is conducting field canvassing in Ohio in preparation for the Republican National Convention to be held in Cleveland in July, and will continue other grassroots efforts this cycle.