A Partner at Putnam Partners, Cayce McCabe is known for writing and directing some of the most critically acclaimed and creative ads in politics, including the most viral ad of 2018: MJ Hegar’s Doors. Before working at Putnam, Cayce managed campaigns from city council to mayor, state rep to Congress, and served as general consultant for countless others. That experience allows him to combine the creative approach of an ad maker with the tactical and strategic mindset of a campaign manager and general consultant to effectively advise clients on all aspects of campaigns and paid media.
Cayce was raised in entertainment. From his earliest days doing homework at his parents’ theater rehearsals in Orlando, FL to visiting their work at theme parks, creativity is deeply seeded in Cayce’s upbringing. Cayce attended law school at Florida State, and then eventually found his way to political campaigns, cutting his teeth in hardscrabble Boston politics.
In particular, Cayce became known for defying conventional wisdom and delivering results with underdog candidates. He specialized in working with progressive Democrats, women candidates and candidates of color. Notably, Cayce was Campaign Manager for Linda Dorcena Forry, a Haitian-American state senator who won a razor-thin victory in a district that includes historic South Boston. The district had previously only been held by Irish-American men, and her victory was featured on MSNBC and in The New York Times.
A do-it-all campaign operative, Cayce has worked in virtually every aspect of campaigns including: advising potential candidates as they decide whether to run; graphic design of direct mail, logos and other campaign materials; raising over a million dollars in campaign contributions for a Boston mayoral campaign; speech writing, debate prep, press and crisis communications; voter-targeting, field and GOTV; managing large campaign staffs and running the day-to-day operations as a campaign manager; and serving as overall campaign strategist.
In now his 4th cycle as an ad maker and strategist, Cayce is one of the lead creatives in the industry. His ads have won several industry awards, but no ad has seen more acclaim than MJ Hegar’s Doors. Doors exploded to nearly six million views online, raising millions of dollars for the campaign in the process. The 3-minute bio video was featured on CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, Adweek, the Washingtonian, Politico and others. The ad was named to Adweek’s “Top 25 Ads of 2018,” the first time a political ad has ever made the list. Of Doors, Adweek said, “The ad gave [Hegar’s] campaign an immense boost in national awareness – and will be used as a role model for countless campaigns in the years to come.” Hamilton creator Lin Manuel Miranda called Doors, “The best political ad anyone’s ever seen.” And The Big Short and Vice director Adam McKay said, “Best campaign commercial ever? Seriously.”
In 2018, Cayce helped flip nine congressional seats from red to blue, won ballot initiatives and statewide down-ballot races, and produced the winning advertising for Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont. Cayce has written and produced television, radio and digital advertising for many of Putnam Partners’ highest profile clients, including Hillary for America, six U.S. Senate campaigns, six gubernatorial races, and countless other congressional, state, and independent expenditure campaigns. On the Clinton campaign, Cayce wrote and produced three of the closing paid digital persuasion ads, targeting millennial voters in swing states across the country and bringing a modern and outside-the-box feel to the creative to match the target audience.