Newsroom Archives - CRAFT Media | Digital

On Friday, Campaigns & Elections recognized CRAFT Media/Digital with three Reed Awards during the annual Reed Awards dinner in Las Vegas, NV.

CRAFT was honored with two awards, Best TV Ad for a Republican Congressional Candidate and Best Villain for “Puppies.” We filmed and produced this ad on behalf of Martha McSally, who ran and subsequently won the closest race of the cycle in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District. The goal of this ad was to lampoon the typical “evil voiceover guy,” inoculating Martha from intense negative ads in the final days of the race. Aimed as a comical break from the typical end-of-cycle clutter, this strategy was used to soften her voter image and to gain electoral traction as the race came to a close. In what became the most competitive race in the country, this ad helped catapult McSally to her triumphant victory.

In addition, CRAFT was recognized for designing and developing the Best Microsite on behalf of Rep. Chris Gibson (NY-19) and his high-profile re-election fight against billionaire Sean Eldridge. The microsite, NY-19 Makes The Call, juxtaposed Chris Gibson against Sean Eldridge, giving voters the opportunity to intimately learn about each candidate. The site was instrumental in connecting voters with Rep. Gibson, consequently securing his seat as the representative of NY-19.

CRAFT is honored to have received these awards for our work this cycle. We are proud to have worked with Martha McSally, Chris Gibson, and their respective campaigns.

With the recent announcement of our expanding mission, CRAFT enters the corporate branding space with two very different — but equally important — wins.

CRAFT is honored to have won W3 Awards for our work on two design-and-build corporate websites.


Taking home Gold for websites in the Marketing category, W3 recognized CRAFT for the design and development of The site features the latest web development technology, including responsive parallax design architecture, sketch-to-render imagery, custom audio and video players, and trackable sharing functions.  The website launch was a part of a soup-to-nuts brand launch campaign, which included a new logo, two web videos (complete from pre-to-post production), marketing assets, and infographics.


W3 also recognized CRAFT with a Silver award in the eCommerce category for our work for Grappler Anchor. Tasked with bringing a wholesale-specific product to the retail market, CRAFT designed and built a fully custom website that compliments the fun nature of the brand and easily allows users to purchase an anchor. The site features 360-degree product rotations, interactive HTML5 elements, and a robust eCommerce system with individual user-logins.

So, do you agree with the judges? Check out both websites for yourself.

grappler        xapp

CRAFT Partner Brian Donahue joined host Judy Woodruff of PBS NewsHour on Thursday night to discuss The White House’s State of the Union social media strategy.

Brian offered,  “It’s no longer the State of the Union, it’s #SOTU,” referencing the popular trending Twitter hashtag.  On the significance of using social media, Brian stated, “Any time that a political leader, including the president, is engaging audiences and is helping them to carry his message forward into new networks and places, that’s effective. That is the way new media works these days.”

The way people are learning about the latest presidential initiatives has dramatically changed.  Traditional media used to be the premier opportunity for the president to engage with the pubic around The State of the Union.  Social media has now amplified that ability to spread the president’s message.

Want to take your social strategy to the next level – Contact CRAFT!


Watch the full segment below:




Fraud and viewability in the digital ad space has been a hot topic in 2014. Recently, Google released a study claiming 56.1% of all digital ads are unseen. These issues should be a concern for any digital ad buyer, but can be overcome using technology and knowhow. CRAFT’s digital buying practice ensures campaigns produce the best results with the least amount of waste and fraud, providing the best value for our clients.

How is this done?

To combat fraud and waste CRAFT has taken numerous steps to empower our ad buying team with the tools and information necessary to make the most educated decisions for each campaign. This began when we built our own trading desk, CRAFT Levers. Using Levers we have direct access into our campaigns and full transparency into where and when our ads run. Using this information we can generate “black lists” of suspect websites so campaigns never run in questionable inventory. This is important because the Google study points out, “a small number of publishers are serving most of the non-viewable impressions.”

Each site our ads run on is scrutinized to determine the credibility of the site and the likelihood our ads will be served and seen. If we believe an uncharacteristic spike in impressions is the result of bots or unseen ads, we block that site for the current and future campaigns. On the flip side, when we see credible, well performing sites we select them for our “white list.” With each campaign, we are improving our understanding of which sites to run on and which sites to block.

While it is experience and knowledge that differentiates CRAFT, technology is necessary to help inform the decision making process. To do this, we enhance the human element of our ad buying operation by utilizing technologies like Integral Ad Science’s TRue Advertising Quality (TRAQ) score to analyze each ad impression we deliver. Using tools like this empowers our ad buyers by providing additional information that safeguards against potential fraud and viewability issues.

While digital ad fraud and viewability are concerning issues, waste is pervasive in all media. How many TV ads ran last night that went unseen? How many print ads in newspapers go unseen? There will always be fraud and viewability issues in all forms of advertising, but the advantage of digital is the ability to measure and make actionable decisions to counter these issues.

Tweet. Congress Listens.

When you tweet, does Congress listen?

As organizations and constituents ponder that question, CRAFT has perfected the answer.

CRAFT has worked with top social networks, members of Congress, trade associations, and candidates.  We understand how social media can be used to complement government affairs efforts by creating awareness around a legislative issue, amplifying a legislators’ position, or bringing attention to a non-supporter. Utilizing social media to advance government affairs initiatives drives results.

When engaging with a member of Congress on social media, it’s most effective to tailor your message to their audience and constituents. Localizing the message in a way that is pertinent to the Member’s constituency is the most effective method to draw engagement. This is why CRAFT’s social media and digital advocacy approach is successful.

On behalf of our clients, we engage with legislators who support our issues, thanking them for their leadership.


However, we are not afraid to reach out to those that are indecisive or who take harmful policy stances.

Steve Stivers

This begins a conversation that creates tangible results.

Baldwin engagement

In a recent survey, congressional staffers noted that their members found social communication to be authentic and organic,

“In a poll of House and Senate offices by the Congressional Management Foundation, three quarters of senior staff said that between one and 30 comments on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter were enough to grab their attention on an issue. Thirty-five percent said that fewer than 10 comments were enough.” (Source: Connectivity by Roll Call)

At CRAFT, we adhere to this approach.  By leveraging creative to engage with congressional leaders, their staff, and their constituents. Social media has become an essential component of any government affairs initiative.

potato punjoni

So start the conversation, because when you tweet, Congress listens.



CRAFT Announces Break Away From Candidate Campaigns, Advancing Further in Public Affairs, PR and Corporate Branding.

Dear friends, I wanted to share important news.

The culmination of this election cycle marks the beginning of CRAFT’s fifth year – a short while for a five-person start-up. We have grown into our third office with over 30 team members, won 55 agency awards, served 367 clients and booked over $65 million in advertising.

But, the reason for my note is to share with you that today CRAFT | Media / Digital’s mission is changing and expanding. CRAFT will no longer serve political candidate campaigns, instead shifting our primary focus – and creative, strategic and technological – resources into the public affairs, PR and corporate branding sectors.


Our quest is to delve deeper. The world of media, digital, messaging, ideas and culture is exploding. At no other time in history has the way people consume information changed more significantly than in the last ten years. There is no more appropriate time than now to sharpen our focus and create outcomes for clients from this dynamic information consumption environment.

We’re an agency born of revolutionary impulse, hell-bent on marketing ideas, and communicating on behalf of people, brands and entities that impact our culture for the better.

The move to break away from candidate work is a logical step in a direction to grow our passionate desire for greater aesthetic expression and technological innovation – delivering results for brands, organizations, industries, coalitions and people. However, only through this departure from candidate campaigns will we achieve our greatest expression of personal freedom.

Our mission is clear. Our team of industry, issue and advocacy experts is expanding. Our tactics, tools and technologies will remain cutting edge. We are eager to bring more success to our partners and clients.


Emotional Ads

CRAFT| Media/Digital Partner Brian Donahue discussing the impact of culture and emotion in two classic political ads on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.”

Watch the ads discussed here:

1952 Eisenhower Political Ad – “I Like Ike”

1964 LBJ Political Attack Ad – “Daisy”

Testimonial Ads

Brian Donahue discusses the validating effect of real people telling real stories about candidates in testimonial ads — an important development this cycle.



O-F-F-E-N-S-E   offense for our victory

As mentioned, defense wins games, and breakdowns are heart breaking [cough.. cough.. USA vs. Portugal]. Attacking, making plays, and controlling the tempo are all products of offense in soccer. You can see these same offensive tactics and maneuvers in the execution stage of CRAFT campaigns.

Once we have the strategy, the marketing plan, and established goals and objectives, our team hits the ground running on execution and fulfillment. During this stage in the game our teams are inspired, working together, passing ideas back-and-forth, and finally after careful precision and management the campaign goes live……..AND THE CLIENT GOES WILD!!!!!!!!!


The Perfect Pitch


Soccer — Futbol — The Beautiful Game.

World Cup 2014 has kicked off and believers, brands, and band-wagoners are getting in on the action.

Much of what it takes to be the best of the best on the pitch also goes on in agencies with creative teams as they put themselves through the same wringer.

Practice –> Every day thinking through the strategy, execution, and campaign creative. Eat, sleep, breathing the concept.
Conditioning –> Researching, going to conferences, participating in Hack-a-thons, etc. The creative industry is a constant meet-up, always ideating, always creating.
Scrimmage –> Team unity and fine tuning to understand what’s working, and what part of the campaign needs optimizing.
Game Day –> Pitching the perfect campaign to your client, winning that coveted business, or exceeding expectations on ROI. IT’S ALL ABOUT DELIVERING.

Just like the final 23 roster, agencies rely on specific team members to deliver on unique responsibilities. When it comes down to performance, soccer players aren’t that different from agency professionals:

They say defense wins games, and when you think about it, it truly wins campaigns too.

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