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Pictured: Latino voters protest in Berks county on November 2020. Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images.
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A Biden-Harris advocacy group launches new, six-figure ad-buy targeting Latinos

Building Back Together is the only organization in Washington driving the administration’s agenda. The Latino outreach strategy was top of mind.

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Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect the ad's timeframe, which starts on September 15th and is scheduled to run through Hispanic Heritage Month.

Building Back Together, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group working on expanding the reach of the Biden-Harris administration charges into Hispanic Heritage Month with a six-figure ad buy catered to Latino populations in key states. They plan to stress the Biden administration’s recent slate of legislative wins in a set of both Spanish and English ads. 

All commercials are scheduled to start on Thursday, Sep. 15, and will be broadcast in Wisconsin, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, featuring digital English ads as well as Spanish radio transmissions.  They will run through Hispanic Heritage Month.

Biden’s recent slate of legislative wins on Capitol Hill will be at the center of the campaign, and will hone in on the Inflation Reduction Act, a landmark piece of legislation poised to address American infrastructure, climate and energy, and healthcare. The messaging will hone in on lower prescription drug costs and premium caps, two aspects of the healthcare apparatus that deter Latinos from either refilling their prescriptions or obtaining healthcare at all, according to the Office of Health Policy, HHS’s policy planning arm.

The visual ad will be launched in English, but radio listeners can tune in to a Spanish version, which highlights similar themes. 

WATCH:

 

Mayra Macías, BBT’s Chief Strategy Officer, tells AL DÍA the organization conducted engagement work with communities, and in some cases, community leaders, to embed feedback into the paid programming in advance of its inception. 

“Part of the work that Building Back Together set out to do was to be really intentional about who we were communicating with,” Macías said of their mission while noting their first outreach program, called Latino Always On, was created with the goal of reaching the Latino community directly. 

BBT’s general objective is two-pronged, first to ensure the safe passage of the Biden-Harris agenda through Congress and to convey key policy items to everyday people. The ad, Macías says, is the result of year-round engagement employed by on-the-ground operatives who travel and gather perspectives to consider before launching paid strategy. 

“There’s really great things happening in the White House, and as a collective, we have to figure out how to make this information accessible to our community,” Macías added.

And to do so might serve in the Biden administration’s favor. New data by UnidosUS and Mi Familia Vota shows that despite low voter turnout, Latinos are not necessarily apathetic about ongoing political discourse.

In fact, top concerns for Latinos include the government’s most bellicose topics, such as rising prices, gun reform, and immigration. As of the most recent survey, abortion is also among the top five issues concerning voters. 

But Latino voters have an overwhelming sense of limited outreach from their local and national representatives. A majority of the sampled population said they did not receive any form of outreach, adding to a sense of discouragement of the government’s ability to understand their needs, much less meet them.

“If you get into the weeds of it, there’s a lot of really great policy, but ultimately what people care about is how is this putting more money in my pocket to be able to go into the grocery store and not feel like I have to decide between the electricity bill and a loaf of bread,” Macías told AL DÍA. 

BBT’s ad buy is the latest in the Democratic party’s effort to speak directly to Latinos on the way to the general election. Early in September, the Fetterman campaign launched commercials in Spanish voiced by his wife and PA’s Second Lady, Giselle Barreto Fetterman. 

The Lt. Governor’s message was the second form of targeted outreach, though, at the time, Fetterman was the only candidate who had released a commercial in Spanish. Josh Shapiro, PA’s gubernatorial candidate, followed suit and released his own Spanish-language ads, totaling three in all.

On the other side of the aisle, Dr. Oz and State Senator Doug Mastriano have not released any form of Spanish-language media. 

“[It’s] precisely why it’s important that organizations like Building Back Together exist who are not placing the burden of research on Latinos, but rather providing the information in a way that is culturally competent and accessible,” Macías said. 

“If this can serve as a model for other folks we sure would love that (...) and hope that the work that we’re doing does showcase how important and effective it is when you communicate to Latinos year round, and it’s not a one-off,” she added. 

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