SE2 was tasked with managing the creative and media components of a campaign to change the form of city governance in Colorado Springs. Similar proposals in Pueblo and Aurora in recent years had been resoundingly defeated, as was a measure in Wheat Ridge this fall. In a year when only one out of nine statewide ballot issues passed, it was particularly challenging to obtain yes votes.
SE2 was initially engaged for four months to help the citizen group develop the campaign framework, messages and team. SE2’s contract was eventually extended and reflected a significantly increased role in the campaign that included branding the campaign, taking the lead on targeted mail, producing paid media and acting as general media consultant to the campaign, which was dubbed the Mayor Project. SE2 launched a creative campaign that consisted of eight targeted mail pieces, two broad mail pieces, a print piece, a field piece, three TV commercials, two radio commercials, a social media campaign and two print ads. SE2 succeeded in creating materials that stood out from the mass of negative campaign ads that fall by developing unique concepts for the commercials and print pieces that focused on providing a solution for Colorado Springs’ broken city hall. From an elementary school classroom to a help wanted ad, the campaign stood out from the crowd and successfully simplified a rather complex issue by positioning it as the common sense approach to government. The various creative pieces, audiences and messages were driven by extensive polling and focus groups. SE2 committed to the messages and included them in every campaign communication and creative piece. The strategic commitment of the entire campaign team ensured that the public heard consistent and strong messages throughout the campaign.
The ballot initiative passed with 59% of the vote.