By FP1 Strategies
On April 20, the Association of American Political Consultants (AAPC) presented FP1 Strategies with the prestigious Gold Pollie Award for Overall Best Radio Campaign for a five-part series of ads produced for Senator Ron Johnson’s reelection campaign. While our firm won the trophy, the credit rightfully goes to Senator Johnson. He had the inspiration to do this series of creative radio ads that featured a female voice talent conducting an extended job interview with Johnson’s opponent, Mandela Barnes. While our team at FP1 directed the voice talent and the sound design process on the five spots, each radio script was written by Senator Johnson himself.
In this five-spot series, the job interviewer dissected Mandela Barnes’ lack of private sector experience, his questionable finances, his extreme positions on crime and public safety issues and his overuse of the state patrol for his personal security. The final radio spot in the series contrasted Barnes’ lack of experience and accomplishments with Senator Johnson’s story of going to work at a young age, building a successful manufacturing business in Wisconsin and his legislative accomplishments in the U.S. Senate on providing small business tax relief and the right to try experimental medical treatments.
“There’s a reason Ron Johnson has won three U.S. Senate races in America’s quintessential swing state,” said former FP1 Partner Chris LaCivita, who was the general consultant on the race. “He has the sharpest political mind in Wisconsin. I’ve never worked for a candidate who was more personally invested in the creative process, and our campaign was stronger because of Ron’s ideas.”
“The positive feedback we received on the job interview radio ads told us that we were really hitting the mark,” said FP1 Managing Director Dylan Lefler, who was Johnson’s campaign manager in 2022. “We put a significant portion of our radio budget behind these five ads, and they made a big difference in the race. They were creative and different and Wisconsin voters took notice of the narrative we needed to drive against Mandela Barnes.”
Listen to the five-part Mandela Barnes Job Interview Series:
The Wisconsin U.S. Senate race was one of the most expensive and hotly contested elections in America in 2022. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and national liberal donors flooded the Badger State with misleading ads in an unprecedented effort to defeat Senator Johnson. The job interview series of radio ads is an example of the collaborative process between FP1’s creative team and Senator Johnson and his brother Dean.
The Senator’s creative insights and copywriting strengthened our advertising efforts at every juncture of the campaign. We were honored to be on Senator Johnson’s team and a part of this special campaign. Senator Johnson understands Wisconsin voters, he leads with conviction in the U.S. Senate and he had a vision for exactly how he wanted to run his reelection campaign. It’s why he ended up being the only Republican Senator elected in 2022 in a state that Joe Biden carried.