The New Hampshire primary was do-or-die for Senator McCain’s presidential campaign. A win would provide a momentum boost that the campaign desperately needed in order to prevail in the compressed primary season, a loss would almost surely mean the end of the road for the campaign. Since the primary date was so early, we were forced to send out mailings over the Christmas holidays. This unusual timing required creative thinking and a delicate touch to be both appropriate and effective.

Our goal with the mailing was to underscore the “character issue” through Senator McCain’s personal story as a prisoner of war and remind the voters of his service to our country. Additionally, we wanted to inform the voters of his strong, personal Christian faith which is something that the Senator rarely discusses in public. As with all direct mail, our ultimate objective was to weave these storylines into a compelling message to persuade the voters to vote for Senator McCain on primary day.

With this mailing, we were able to deliver a powerful and persuasive message during the key decision making time in the most important primary (to Senator McCain’s campaign). This mailing was so successful and garnered so much attention that it inspired the editor of New Hampshire’s Union Leader blog to call it “the best piece of direct mail [he’s] ever seen.” Its success also inspired the campaign to create a television ad based on the concept. Ultimately, Senator McCain went on to win the New Hampshire primary and grab the momentum that he needed to go on to the Republican nomination.

2008 "Gold" Pollie Recipient