A group of anti-LGBTQ activists got enough signatures to put a Massachusetts’s law protecting transgender citizens on the 2018 ballot. Freedom for All Americans, and their campaign in the state, Freedom for All Massachusetts’s (FFAM) needed to win a “Yes” vote for the law on election day. While the “No” side was a minority, they have won in states and municipalities in the past and had made a habit of using vile messaging. In Massachusetts, they were hoping to continue to expand their attacks on the transgender community, and we needed to not only win, but win big to counteract them.
We needed to focus on values-based storytelling that made the implications on real people visible to voters in Massachusetts, while also pre-empting any concerns about safety.
BPI worked with FFAM to develop an audience-first creative and paid media campaign. Our poll-developed messages were incorporated into emotional, people-forward creative, and then re-tested in-campaign to ensure real-world persuasive impact. We used modeling-data, created in partnership with Clarity Campaign Labs, to determine which groups we spoke to online, and where we could be most efficient with television and radio dollars.
We won. Not only did we uphold protections for transgender individuals in Massachusetts, but we handed over a huge defeat for our opposition, and any hopes they had of success with their rhetoric. Our final margin was 68% “Yes” to 32% “No”. We won in 346 of the 351 towns and cities in Massachusetts.