Meet The Agency Behind Sarah Silverman's Viral Ad That Won Florida For Barack Obama

During the 2008 presidential race, Sarah Silverman made a YouTube video asking young Jewish Americans to visit their grandparents in Florida, and then use their persuasion skills. It went viral overnight; and Obama captured 51% of the state.

We spoke with Andrew Essex, the CEO of Droga5, the ad agency behind the video.

“Sometime before the primaries began, we were approached by the nascent Obama campaign,” says Essex, who’s formerly an editor with Details and The New Yorker. “An intermediary had been impressed by a very successful viral project we did for [fashion designer] Marc Ecko.”

Droga5 originally pitched Larry David, who passed. “We took it to Sarah,” he says. “She ran with it.”

Essex reveals the strategy behind the Silverman video and other successful campaigns for Jay-Z and Rihanna, and the secrets behind viral advertising.

Produced By: Kamelia Angelova & Simone Foxman

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