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DBT x Tarik Khan

A strategic combination of video creation and digital advertising led to a 40-point swing in Tarik Khan’s primary election win.

The challenge for the Tarik campaign: Pennsylvania House incumbents rarely lose. So when a first-time challenger enters the race, the odds are stacked against them. This was true for frontline nurse Tarik Khan.

Polling showed Tarik entering the campaign at least 20 points behind the incumbent. Known for delivering leftover Covid vaccines—termed “Angel Doses”—to folks who could not leave their home during the pandemic, Tarik already knew how to achieve seemingly impossible tasks. And he applied that same drive and tenacity to organizing.

Tarik turned to DBT to amplify the campaign’s work on the ground and to ensure that the campaign reached not only the likely universe of voters, but also the unknown potential expansion of traditional voters that might show up, voters Tarik needed to win.

How DBT Drove Engagement:

DBT worked with the campaign to produce four videos—each one with its own purpose—shot over the course of a single day. DBT anchored the story in a 60-second bio ad that gave depth to Tarik’s story. We also produced a 30-second ad focused on Tarik’s 800+ life-saving efforts to vaccinate vulnerable citizens. The other two ads focused on name ID, one ad just replaying his name over pictures, and another where we had a little fun with the quite common name of Khan. The latter was produced for TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitter.

We also produced a highly targeted voter registration drive focused on a specific community of under-registered residents who had expressed support for Tarik’s candidacy. 

Long before election day, DBT and Tarik’s campaign could see voters responding to this at higher than average levels. Tarik’s videos scored a 31.63% engagement rate and an additional 14% click-thru rate on Google. But the most important number was on election day, when Tarik beat out his opponent by over 20 points.



Engagement Rate


Click-thru Rate


Point Lead

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