Proposition 8: An Addressable Advertising Case Study
The following is a succinct vivisection of the Project Marriage addressable marketing plan as scrutinized by an agnostic:
The Creator's Marketing Plan
The Mormon leadership in Salt Lake City issued a four-paragraph decree to be read to a multitude of congregations, saying "the formation of families is central to the Creator's plan," urging members to become involved in the cause: the support of Proposition 8 to ban same-sex marriage on election day in November through the mobilization of voters across diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds including Catholics, evangelical Christians, conservative blacks and Latinos, Mormons and myriad smaller ethnic groups with strong religious ties.
Distribution Methodology (Analog): Walkers, Sellers & Closers
A legion of volunteers was created to canvas door to door in election precincts to garner the votes to support the proposition.
Canvassers were assigned two zip codes to cover. Volunteers in one ward, according to training documents written by a Protect Marriage volunteer and obtained by people opposed to Proposition 8 and shown to The New York Times, had tasks ranging from "walkers" assigned to knock on doors; to "sellers" who would work with undecided voters; to "closers" who would get people to the polls on Election Day.
Creative Versioning: 'Script'ure A or 'Script'ure B
Suggested talking points were equally pre-configured. If initial contact indicated a prospective voter believed that God created marriage, the church volunteers were instructed to emphasize that Proposition 8 would restore the definition of marriage God intended.
But if a voter indicated human beings created marriage, Script B would roll instead, emphasizing that Proposition 8 was about marriage, not about attacking gay people, and about restoring into law an earlier ban struck down by the State Supreme Court in May -- kind of the dynamic ad insertion approach that would be applicable in an on-the-fly message delivery model dependent upon respondent's implied preferences or even revised copy dynamically proffered over time-shifted messaging.
The Messaging Double Opt-in or Transubstantive Interpretation
The rules of message delivery were as follows:
Walkers and sellers were instructed not to attack the homosexual lifestyle or to convince gays and lesbians that their behavior is wrong. Note: "the less we refer to homosexually, the better." "We are pro-marriage, not anti-gay."
"No work will take place at the church, including no meeting there to hand out precinct walking assignments so as to not even give the appearance of politicking at the church."
Nearly $40 million was raised to support the campaign including desperate emails sent to 92,000 people who had registered at the group's web site declaring a "code blue" - an urgent plea for money to save traditional marriage from "cardiac arrest": "We ask for your prayers that this email will open the hearts and minds of the faithful to make a further sacrifice of their funds at this urgent moment so that God's precious gift of marriage is preserved."
Deus ex Machina
Proposition 8 was passed in California, banning same-sex marriage with 52% of the vote.