Fox News Changes Election Brand, Rolls Out New Campaign That Doesn’t Include On-Air Talent

‘America’s Election Headquarters’ gives way to 'Democracy 2020'

fox news election 2020 democracy
Fox News' "It's In Your Hands" ads don't feature any on-air talent, which is a departure for the network. Fox News
Headshot of Jason Lynch

As Fox News Channel prepares for the 2020 presidential election, the network is changing its election brand—and rolling out a new marketing campaign that doesn’t feature any Fox News on-air talent.

“America’s Election Headquarters”—which has been a mainstay on the network for the past decade—is giving way to “Democracy 2020.”

No Fox News personalities appear in the network’s new “It’s In Your Hands” marketing campaign, which instead focuses on Americans and the choice they will be making in next year’s election.

“There has been a change in how consumers see elections,” said Jason Klarman, evp of marketing at Fox News Media. “Twenty years ago, we were concerned that there was voter apathy and people weren’t showing up at the polls. And nothing could be further from the truth today.”

As Fox News continues to be most-watched among cable news networks in both total viewers and the 25-54 demo most coveted by news advertisers, “staying No. 1 is about staying up with the trend, and the trend is a big, bold and passionate electorate, very engaged in the election process,” Klarman said.

To that end, the new “It’s In Your Hands” spot includes footage of Americans of different ages and races, in both rural and urban settings, as the narrator intones, “America is a special place. It’s a place where we work for what we want and speak up for what we believe.”

After the narrator discusses the importance of voting, ending with “We do something most people across the globe only dream of,” the spot ends with a montage of hands—again of various sizes and skin tones—holding a button that reads “Fox News: Democracy 2020.”

The spot will air this month on Fox News and its sister network, Fox Business Network, as well as Fox News’ digital platforms.

Then beginning Nov. 3, two days before this year’s elections, the “seven-figure” campaign will roll out nationwide and will include outdoor elements as well as ad buys on national TV and local cable.

“We want to get this everywhere,” including football games, Klarman said. “This is about opening the aperture and welcoming more people in.”

Going forward, “Democracy 2020” will appear as a bug on screen during Fox News’ election coverage, taking the place of “America’s Election Headquarters” as the network’s election brand.

“Most election brands live on a paradigm between informational [‘Vote 2020’] and empowering [‘Your Choice’],” said Klarman. “We wanted to find something that was indeed empowering, but also that embraced the passion with which the electorate is now approaching all of these elections. We got to Democracy 2020 very quickly, because that’s at the heart of why people are so passionate for the process.”

Also, continued Klarman, “there’s 30% of the people who are never going to stop watching us, there are 30% of the people who are never going to watch us, and then there’s everybody else in the middle. And I think what Democracy 2020 says is we are open for business on all fronts.”

Klarman opted to not feature any Fox News talent during the first phase of the campaign because “the star of this ad is America; it’s the people. It’s not about us; it’s about them. Making that emotional appeal and connecting our election brand to their everyday lives was the goal.”

The decision wasn’t made to distance the Fox News brand from any talent who have been pulled into the election process, given that President Trump frequently tweets about specific Fox News personalities (and, less frequently, mentions talent at other news networks). Nor is this part of any larger Fox News marketing shift away from featuring on-air talent.

“The election is something very separate. Tapping into the emotion and passion that people have for the process is what we were trying to do, and that just didn’t include talent as part of that initial creative,” said Klarman. “But you’ll see a lot more creative executions around the election as we really get into it. And that will include talent.”

Those future phases of the campaign, which will feature Fox News personalities, will roll out next year.

Klarman said that the new election brand, coupled with the Fox Business Network “Invest in You” brand refresh that rolled out on Monday, is intended to show that “we’re not about just the coasts; we’re all about everybody in the middle. This is feeding into a larger Fox News Media strategy about how all these brands are living and sitting together.”

@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.