The Weekly Forecast: September 22

By September 22, 2020 No Comments

Dorothy is ACRONYM’s machine-learning powered system that estimates the persuasive potential of an ad on Facebook without the need to run expensive experiments for every creative. For a detailed explanation, check out our first newsletter here.

This week, DOROTHY produced results that confirmed how progressives might most effectively use the COVID-19 pandemic to shift public opinion away from President Trump. We also tested how voters react to messages clarifying that Joe Biden does, in fact, denounce violent protests – with surprising results. 

And now, our Weekly Forecast:

Here are 5 ads that work…

and some that don’t:


TL;DR: What are the takeaways?

Once again, we see that arguing how the Trump administration is endangering the lives of our children is very effective at moving opinion away from the president, possibly even more so when the students themselves are the messengers for that argument. 

We also found that Trump’s inability to provide health care for the emergency responders who served in NYC on 9/11 is another extremely effective argument for moving opinion away from the president. Health care for 9/11 first responders has long been a significant concern for voters, and it’s not surprising that Trump’s failures here would resonate.

Finally, we found that boosting articles that clarify Joe Biden’s consistent position against violent protesting actually backfires and moves opinion toward the president. This may be due to the fact that repeating a false claim to fact-check it can actually give credibility to that claim (and why we should never repeat misinformation or disinformation even if our intent is to debunk it). In this scenario, this may mean that Biden echoing exaggerated claims of violent protest, even to denounce them, only spreads the Trump-favorable claim that violent protests are out of control in this country.

We would also like to note that we believe that using Mitt Romney to argue against Trump’s coronavirus response was effective because Romney is a credible conservative messenger. We’ll be watching to see whether or not his recent position regarding the SCOTUS vacancy changes anything, and will update you with what we learn.

See you next week!

James Barnes

Author James Barnes

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