“Absolutely brilliant. I was awestruck at how good these guys are at this.”
– Conservative Talk Show Host Jan Mickelson on Iowa’s WHO-Radio railing against the effectiveness of the ad.
The Supreme Court of Iowa handed down a much- awaited ruling that struck down all Iowa laws that had banned same sex marriage.
The ruling ignited immediately a firestorm of protest from religious and conservative political forces inside the state and around the country.
We were given the task of creating in a matter of days, an ad that would defuse the firestorm. The ad had two goals – both of which were critical and daunting.
One, we needed to immediately reach everyday Iowans with a message of reassurance that was both positive and compelling, and that would go straight at the opponents’ strength: values.
Two, we needed to give undecided voters a context for supporting the ruling, while at the same time, putting the opponents on the defensive.
It had to be “Iowan” – centered on Iowa values – and it had to be positive and calming – while at the same time giving a sense of positive momentum.
A few days later, a conservative radio personality in Des Moines spent an entire show deconstructing the ad, line by line to show how effective it had been. He was clearly dismayed. The spot won a Gold “Pollie” Award for political advertising excellence.
“The work of the devil”
Conservative talk show host Jan Michelson devoted almost an entire show to breaking down the effectiveness of this ad. You can listen to his ranting and raving by playing the radio below: