“Collectively, we sat across $1 billion in advertising spend that won and beat Donald Trump,” Bonsignore told POLITICO.
“When you spend $1 billion in paid media — and you win — you learn some stuff. Part of the genesis of us all deciding to launch this thing is that there are things we learn that we want to build on,” Bonsignore continued. “I think we all start with the premise that elections are really close — a lot of important elections are really close — and paid media works. And I think we can help make it work better.”
Joining Bonsignore and Fromowitz at Blue Sky Strategies are co-partner Ishanee Parikh, the former creative director at Future Forward, and Amy Romanow, the director of stories for Biden’s paid-media campaign, who will be a principal at the new firm.
Blue Sky Strategies joins a crowded space in Democratic media consulting — though it has close ties to Biden’s orbit, and the amount of cash in and around political campaigns continues to explode every election.
Blue Sky Strategies’ initial team “played an instrumental role in President Biden’s victory in 2020,” Mike Donilon, the chief strategist for Biden’s 2020 campaign, said in a statement provided for the firm’s announcement. “Patrick Bonsignore was at the helm of the paid media operation, building it from scratch, and delivering one of the most effective and disciplined messages any presidential campaign has ever seen. The other members of the team — Jon Fromowitz, Ishanee Parikh, and Amy Romanow — were responsible for some of the cycle’s most memorable advertising.”
In the interview, Bonsignore said Blue Sky Strategies will not just focus on one form of communication, instead integrating their clients’ television and digital ad presentations, whether they are political campaigns, outside groups or corporate entities.
Even as Americans have “cut the cord” with cable and broadcast TV and embraced streaming outlets, political advertising has skyrocketed. More than $3 billion was spent on ads in the 2020 presidential race, according to AdImpact, with the vast majority of that on linear television.
“It is both true that YouTube can reach more people in a swing state than a cable station on TV, but your median voter also watches more than two hours of TV a night,” Bonsignore said. “It’s not as much of an either-or proposition as much as utilizing the opportunities to persuade voters and reach them throughout their day in a more varied way. So, somebody wakes up, and they check Instagram — that’s an opportunity to reach them with a message that will persuade or turn them out.”
In addition to Building Back Together and Future Forward, Blue Sky Strategies has also signed as a client the group Guarding Against Pandemics, a nonprofit largely funded by Sam Bankman-Fried, the liberal cryptocurrency billionaire, whose group has identified more than a dozen 2022 Democratic congressional candidates as “champions.” Bonsignore declined to disclose whether the firm has added any specific candidates in this year’s midterm elections to its client roster.