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Sunrise Movement: Testing Ad Creatives

The Sunrise Movement is a youth movement that advocates for political action on climate change and, in the process, works to create millions of new jobs, stop the corrupting influence of fossil fuel executives, and elect leaders who stand up for the health and well-being of all people.  To recruit people to join the cause and become on-the-ground activists and donors, the Sunrise Movement used a grant from Progressive Multiplier to launch lead-generation ads on Facebook and Instagram. 

However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sunrise Movement had to move its entire activist training program online. The organization had to pivot their project a second time after the murder of George Floyd. Through the uprising for racial justice in the summer of 2020 through the presidential election in the fall, the Sunrise Movement tested waves of ads to capture leads and donors.

The lead ads, which targeted a cold acquisition audience with a slight overlap in characteristics with the Sunrise Movement’s current database, asked for email addresses, phone numbers, and a donation. Individuals who responded were put into a welcome stream that included emails and text messages inviting them to donate and attend an orientation call. The Sunrise Movement tested the tone and composition of images used in the ad creative, measuring a joyful rally photo of an individual versus a more serious protest photo with an art reading “Our Time to Rise.” In addition, they tested short-form versus long-form copy. 

In total, the project raised over $30,000 for the cause; the Sunrise Movement expects more than 6,000 sustaining gifts during the course of a year. However, the difference in performance across the ad types did not result in statistical significance, making it difficult to determine which creative to invest in moving forward. The Sunrise Movement plans to run similar tests in the future but create an even greater difference in the copy and imagery to weigh the approaches against each other. 

The Sunrise Movement is a youth movement to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs. They are building an army of young people to make climate change an urgent priority across America, end the corrupting influence of fossil fuel executives on our politics, and elect leaders who stand up for the health and wellbeing of all people.