Multi-channel advertising campaign to boost awareness of the 2016 Welsh Assembly Election


Freshwater developed and implemented a multi-media advertising campaign to raise awareness of the 2016 Welsh Assembly Election and encourage voter participation.

A range of advertising tactics were used to help engage eligible voters in Wales, including TV advertising across Sky AdSmart, All4 and S4C’s Clic, digital advertising including Google Display Network and TrueView advertising and a targeted door-to-door advertising campaign. Specific targeting tactics were applied to reach BAME, youth and women’s groups, based on Assembly Commission priorities.


5.1 million

impressions delivered across digital and TV advertising


clicks on digital adverts


increase in voter registration compared to 2011 election


Freshwater won a competitive tender with the National Assembly for Wales to develop and implement a multi-media campaign to encourage voter participation, while raising awareness of the Assembly Election in May 2016.

The campaign needed to be relevant and reach as many people who qualified to vote in Welsh elections as possible, including those not yet registered to vote. With a limited budget, and based on Assembly Commission priorities, one of the core objectives of the campaign was to deliver specific activity targeting BAME, youth and women’s groups.


At the outset of the campaign, Freshwater worked with the National Assembly for Wales to map and build an understanding of the target audience.

We developed a multi-channel strategy that included TV, digital and door-to-door advertising. To utilise the budget as effectively as possible, and focus on reaching the priority BAME, youth and female audiences, without alienating wider audiences pan-Wales, we selected channels that offered advanced targeting methods.

We used both Sky AdSmart and All4 advertising platforms to maximise the reach of the campaign video, developed by the Assembly, and target users who met our specific audience criteria. TV adverts promoted through Sky AdSmart were split according to affluence to ensure we reached a broad demographic over the age of 35, pan-Wales while All4 adverts were specifically targeted at youth audiences. The Welsh language TV advert was promoted on S4C’s video on demand service, Clic, ensuring the Assembly campaign reached Welsh-speakers across Wales.

Digital channels were essential components of the strategy and we selected Google Display Network and TrueView (YouTube) advertising to reach the target audience and help increase exposure of the TV advert among online female and youth audiences.

As digital exclusion was considered a potential barrier for some of the BAME audiences, we also developed a target map of postcodes across Wales that contained the highest percentage of BAME residents. This was used to plan and distribute campaign materials via a door-to-door advertising campaign.


Voter turnout for the 2016 Assembly Election was 45.3%, up 3.1% from 42.2% in 2011.

A diverse mix of marketing channels enabled us to utilise the available budget as effectively as possible to focus on reaching BAME, youth and female audiences, without alienating wider audiences pan-Wales.

Across All4 and Sky AdSmart, 285,277 impressions of the English TV advert were served to pan-Wales audiences aged 35+, while Clic advertising delivered 38,958 impressions to Welsh speaking audiences.

Google Display Network and TrueView activity was extremely effective in boosting campaign awareness among two key demographics, delivering 4.7 million impressions to youth and female audiences.

The Clic activity delivered a significantly higher than average click-through rate of 13.77% and TrueView boasted a view rate of 20.62%.

Through the door-to-door advertising campaign, campaign leaflets were delivered to 83,939 households across carefully selected postcodes, of which an average of 79.53% fell into the BAME category.

The constituency with the highest turnout for the 2016 National Assembly Election was Cardiff North, a key regional target for the door drop campaign; 56.8% of the population voted, equating to an increase of 5.4% on the 2011 election.

Other success in reaching areas with a high percentage of BAME residents include Cardiff Central, which had a significant 8.9% increase in turnout compared to 2011 figures and Newport West, with an 8.2% increase. Both of these areas were targets for the BAME door drop campaign.


Elinor Dafydd

029 20 30 40 50


National Assembly for Wales

Related services

    • Advertising


    • Public Sector


February - May 2016