We’ve launched hundreds of advocacy campaigns over the last twelve years at CRAFT. Some small, some big—most defied the odds and many have won awards. But every campaign cements our belief in two key pillars that produce real advocacy success.
Why it matters: Communicators have finite resources, and every campaign depends on creative strategy. By focusing on activities with outsized impact, communicators can achieve more—regardless of budget.
The two biggest leverage points for advocacy campaigns are creativity and speed.
Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors: “When people ask me that question, ‘what keeps you up at night?’ – I always say speed.” Speed is the ultimate competitive advantage in business and communications. Getting the message right is essential. Getting it out quickly is win or lose. Here’s a recent example:
- The situation: Looking for revenue to offset increased government spending, Congress threatened a major tax increase on American manufacturers.
- What happened next: The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) called on CRAFT to push back quickly – before the proposals gained momentum. We moved from concept to placement on airwaves, TV sets, Twitter feeds, and newspapers in less than a week.
- The result: A tax provision that would have disproportionately harmed manufacturers was removed from the bill – a major victory for NAM.
(Video coverage from CNBC.)
Howard Gossage, Advertising Legend: “Nobody reads advertising. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.” We’d take this a step further: it’s rarely an ad. The only way to get them to engage with your ad – and to have any shot of affecting their beliefs as a consequence – is to prioritize creativity in both strategy and execution.
A winning campaign requires new, unanticipated ways to connect with your audience with content that inspires or intrigues and makes them feel. Here’s an example of creativity at work:
- The situation: American retailers were doing everything they could to keep prices down despite record-high inflation and Congress wasn’t taking action.
- What happened next: The National Retail Federation (NRF) partnered with CRAFT to publicize the effects of inflation and Congressional actions that would reduce economic pressure on consumers. We conceived and produced a creative, tension-building video about inflation (literally and figuratively) that fueled a digital, TV, and out-of-home (shout-out DCA) advocacy campaign.
- The result: NRF established itself as a leader in the fight against inflation with a creative promotional video that was seen more than 15 million times in just a few weeks, and on August 16, the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law.
The bottom line: Creativity and speed make or break an effective advocacy campaign. These are key to better, faster, stronger advocacy.