Case Study Electing Bill de Blasio

The Goal

Bill de Blasio was the least known of five Democratic candidates running for Mayor of New York City in 2013. Insiders wrote off his underdog candidacy as a long-shot bid; for months, the press focused on candidates that they viewed as either inevitable or too glitzy to ignore.

The Work

As part of the core strategy team, we helped hone the candidate’s lifelong commitment to addressing inequality and economic justice into a hard-hitting message. De Blasio carved out a clear position in the field as the progressive candidate who wanted a break from the policies and style of the Bloomberg administration. As lead communications strategists, BerlinRosen drove the campaign’s media narrative across all earned media platforms and directed the construction of the campaign’s policy platform.

The Results

The de Blasio campaign’s disciplined message began to pay dividends as other candidates made missteps. By late July, before the launch of TV advertising, de Blasio had crept into second place in public polling, up from single digits at the end of 2012. Just as paid media launched in the second week of August, de Blasio surged into a lead that he never surrendered—winning the Democratic primary and general election by commanding margins.