J.J. Balaban has been an admaker and strategist for nearly 20 years, writing and creating television ads for Democratic campaigns in 35 states, 60 Congressional districts, and 115 media markets. A graduate of Princeton University, J.J. served as a Congressional press secretary and worked on various political campaigns prior to starting his career as an admaker.
J.J.’s candidate and independent expenditure ads have helped elect Governors, U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, Attorneys-General, and Mayors. He has created independent expenditure ads for various organizations, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the General Majority PAC (GMP), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Giffords, and With Honor.
J.J.’s work has helped make American politics more inclusive. He made the ads that helped elect the nation’s first openly-gay Governor (Jared Polis of Colorado) and first openly-gay Attorney-General (Maura Healey of Massachusetts). He made the ads that helped elect the first woman ever elected to Congress from Delaware (Lisa Blunt-Rochester) and Jacksonville, Florida’s first African-American Mayor (Alvin Brown). J.J.’s work was hailed by the Washington Post and MSNBC’s Hardball as the best ad of the cycle and by Time Magazine as the second best ad of the cycle.
J.J. lives in Philadelphia with his wife — a pediatric neurologist with no discernible interest in politics — and their daughter.