LANSING — Now in its 6th election cycle, The Hometown Project in partnership with the Michigan Democratic Party is once again connecting well-known, award-winning actors and musicians with local progressive candidates in their hometowns. The project produces creative content featuring these influential voices to support down-ballot candidates and local GOTV initiatives. This year, efforts are focused in key battleground states including Michigan where the content is digitally distributed within the local districts, reaching targeted audiences in creative ways.
Since its inception in 2017, The Hometown Project has recruited and mobilized over 85 influential “Hometown Energizers,” including Kerry Washington, Selena Gomez, Mark Ruffalo, Sarah Jessica Parker, Wanda Sykes, Jon Hamm, Molly Shannon, Ariana DeBose and many more. These “Energizers” have reached millions of voters in their advocacy for over 150 local candidates in their hometowns and promoted the importance of voting in local elections that are often decided by just a handful of votes.
“Being able to speak passionately about a community that you have some investment in and support a candidate that you feel like can help that community is incredibly rewarding”, says actor and Hometown Advisory Board member Billy Crudup.
All Hometown creative content is positive in nature and is distributed across a range of social, programmatic and OTT digital advertising platforms, directly reaching key voters in key districts with content tailored to them. In 2021, The Hometown Project conducted a randomized control trial study that showed an 8.6% increase in local candidate name ID and recall in voters who were served an ad featuring a Hometown Energizer. The data also showed a 2.75% increase in turnout for women voters of color after seeing a BIPOC Hometown celebrity appearing in the ad.
In Michigan, where Hometown is currently partnering with the Michigan Democratic Party, 16 Hometown Energizers have signed on to create spots for 23 high priority state and local candidates (12 State House, 8 State Senate, 2 State Supreme Court, 1 US House).
“We’re incredibly excited to work with the Hometown Project again after our 2020 collaboration.” says Michigan Democratic Chair, Lavora Barnes. “Hometown is dedicated to supporting down-ballot candidates who often get overshadowed by the big-name campaigns. Plus, the individual Hometown Energizers help us reach voters who may not pay as much attention to politics. Working with Hometown is delightful, and more importantly, it’s also extremely effective.”
Hometown pride is visible as these familiar faces connect with their hometown communities to garner attention for local candidates running in this year’s election. In the highly contentious climate of political advertising, these positive videos provide an alternative that is based in community and connection— effectively energizing volunteers, candidates and voters alike, while emphasizing the critical impact these local races have on issues such as female reproductive freedom and safe and secure elections.
The Hometown Project is proud to provide an opportunity to connect Energizers and local organizations in order to support candidates who speak to their values and who will work to help better their communities.