POOLHOUSE December 6, 2019
POOLHOUSE + Jen Kiggans – Case Study

“From day one of the campaign, POOLHOUSE took the time to understand both who I am and the message I wanted to share with voters. From start to finish, they crafted ads that told my whole story and allowed my narrative to stand out in this race. As a first time candidate, they were a huge part of delivering the win in a very competitive year.”

– State Senator Jen Kiggans

When State Senator Frank Wagner announced his retirement, the local party was armed and ready with their hand-picked replacement. But in a contentious year, one where this open-seat could decide the balance of the State Senate, Jen Kiggans saw the field and knew that Republicans would have to put up a stronger candidate.

WITH THE SUPPORT OF HER HUSBAND STEVE, A RETIRED F-18 PILOT, AND THEIR FOUR KIDS, SENATOR KIGGANS LAUNCHED HER CAMPAIGN FOR THE 7TH DISTRICT ON MARCH 30TH.

Kiggans, a former Navy Helicopter pilot and Nurse Practitioner, recognized this opportunity as a chance to further her service.

KIGGAN’S LIFE STORY MADE FOR THE PERFECT LONG FORM INTRODUCTORY VIDEO.

Emotional and compelling all on its own, we included the voice of Jen Kiggan’s father, memorabilia from her time in the service, shots of her at her work, and highlighted her beautiful family.

 

THE MESSAGING AND IMAGERY WORKED

IN THE FINAL TWO WEEKS OF THE CAMPAIGN, JEN KIGGANS HIT FUNDRAISING HARD AND WAS ABLE TO GO ON TV WITH A :30s VERSION OF HER INTRODUCTION VIDEO.

With just days until the deadline, Jen Kiggans demonstrated her deep roots to the community when she tripled the amount of required signatures for the ballot in just 48 hours. Up against the establishment candidate, the campaign faced nasty attacks and competed against numerous endorsements for her opponent from local officials – including Wagner himself.

 

PRIMARY NIGHT WIN

SHE TOOK A RACE THAT EVERYONE SAID WAS UNWINNABLE AND WON.

“Ready to Serve”, a bio spot, made a big impact on voters, and in a tight election pushed Jen Kiggans over the finish line to a 256 vote margin for the win on Primary Night.

 

THE STAGE WAS SET BETWEEN JEN KIGGAN’S (R) AND CURRENT DELEGATE CHERYL TURPIN (D)

This race quickly became one of the most watched in the state. In a district that Trump won by <1%, but then went Blue for Governor Ralph Northam and Sen. Tim Kaine – Turpin tried to nationalize from the start of the race in her first ad.

We stayed on message – choosing to start 100% positive with a re-cut version of Jen Kiggans primary ad. We need- ed to define Jen Kiggans to voters on our own terms.

SERVE

As Turpin continued to run false and mis- leading ads against Jen Kiggans, we knew we had to fight back by laying out the options for voters: A Navy Veteran and Nurse practitioner – or another party-line politician.

 

WINNING STRATEGY

CHOICE

Turpin continued to lie on air, and we found an opportunity to once again display the contrast between a politician with a bad record of false attack and a fresh voice ready to fight for the district.

THE TRUTH

As unfavorable began to rise for our opponent, she took to TV with hundreds of thousands of out of state dollars to try and soften her image as a moderate to the voters. It was the opportunity we needed. Having proved already she was a politician will- ing to say anything to get votes, we hit hard on her involvement in some of the most radical and controversial legislation that plagued Virginia this year.

MASQUERADE

For all campaigns, it is important to close the arc of your messaging. We went classic for Jen Kiggan’s closing TV spot. A combo of direct-to-camera and B-roll, we had Jen Kiggan’s deliver her final message from her kitchen table. Like she had said from beginning, this wasn’t about politics – this was about our families, and the future of Virginia.

KITCHEN TABLE

A nail biter with the whole state watching – Jen Kiggan’s eeked out the 511 vote victory late on election night.

 

WINNER!