Our 2020 Pollie Wins

 In Our Work

The Pollies were a little different this year, like so many other things. The ceremony was cancelled, but these trophies have a place in the home office until we can be together again to celebrate! We’re excited to announce what we won this year:

Democratic Debates in Detroit: Doubleheader in the D Poster

Fundraising Gift With Donation

THE CHALLENGE

The Michigan Democratic Party was looking for a brand concept and creative collaboration for grassroots events to be held around the 2019 Democratic Presidential Debates in Detroit. They wanted to create a fun, branded 2-night event that could attract grassroots activists who wanted to be a part of the spectacle of the multi-candidate debate and attract the candidates to speak to a grassroots event hosted over two nights with Governor Whitmer and other Democratic elected officials. We created this poster as part of the overall brand as a fun, low cost giveaway to all attendees.

GOAL

The goal was to create a fun, on-brand poster that included all the presidential candidates and the MI governor and Lt. Governor, that would serve as a keepsake for event attendees from the Detroit Presidential Debates. We wanted to create something that would serve as a memento of the events and be a very low cost item that would not cut into the fundraising margins of the events.

BENEFITS

One of my mentors used to say, “Don’t just have an event, make a memory”. Part of that philosophy was to always have something small people could take with them to remember a political event fondly. This poster accomplished that for the Michigan Democratic Party, and will always be a token of how incredibly large 2020 Democratic Presidential field was at this point in the election.

Winning Tax Proposals in MI Suburbs

Digital Ballot Initiative – Internet Advertising

THE CHALLENGE

While the economy has recovered for many, Michigan municipalities are still stuck in the recession due to antiquated state law preventing taxable values from increasing faster than inflation. This left the city of Madison Heights with 35% less taxable value, and in turn, significantly less revenue than pre-recession levels.

Despite closing parks, drastically reducing staff, and deferring maintenance on aging police, fire, and EMS equipment in a city that increases it’s emergency services calls every year, Madison Heights struggled to afford basic services.

Proposal MH was proposed to increase the charter millage and combine other existing special millages into one tax. This created confusing ballot language, because what was truly a net ~26% increase for residents would read in the ballot language as a 60% increase. The city needed to explain the real cost to residents and the problems the city would face if this millage was not passed.

GOAL

Our goal was to use a limited digital budget to communicate with highly likely and likely voters to explain Proposal MH, its costs, and the reasons why it was being proposed. Our challenge was to target narrowly with enough repetition for the key messages to sink in with voters. Additionally, there was a group of anti-tax activists who commented extensively on the Facebook ads.

BENEFITS

These digital ads put the facts on this proposal in front of likely voters across the city. It was important to refute the untrue claims being made by anti-tax opponents commenting across social media and local city events that there were no issues in the city and that they could solve problems by continuing to cut staff. These ads were designed to make the complicated information of city finances very simple and easy to understand for voters of all ages and education levels, ensuring they knew the details of the proposal from their city before going to vote on it.

These ads made the difference because the campaign won by 137 votes on Election Day. The city manager received many comments from voters that they appreciated the long-form explanation of the proposal.

Also, be sure to check out our post where we honor our very own Amanda Stitt for winning the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) 40 Under 40 Award as one of the 40 best and brightest young political professionals in the country!

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