Here’s another Prop 8 ad from California. This one leverages the familiar concept of the Mac vs PC ads Apple ran for a couple years. On the right, you have a younger man who is “No on Prop 8” while on the left, a larger, older man is “Yes.”
The ad talks about “fairness and dignity” and “discrimination” (I’ll explain the quotes momentarily). The ad also uses the tactic of highlighting what _should_ be more important to Californians than stopping same-sex marriage (the economy, war, etc.)
Overall, the ad is watchable, but it lacks any real connection with the audience. The Mac vs PC ads were hip, catchy and there were a lot of them. This allowed people to connect to the campaign over time. In the Prop 8 ad, there’s no real personal investment in either character.
Not only that, but the ad used words like discrimination and fairness. You may recall that I recently posted an article that highlights the fact that those terms just don’t resonate with voters on this issue. Voters don’t see a lack of marriage equality rights as discrimination.
So in essence, the characters didn’t connect and the message fell flat. Meanwhile, Prop 8 supporters were running ads featuring lovable children and focusing on how Prop 8 would help protect them.
Overall, I don’t think NO on 8 is terrible ad. The concept is cute and the message _should_ resonate. However, we’ve learned time and time again that in order for the message to resonate on this topic, it has to be personal in nature. Here’s a great example of how this learning was applied by Get Up! Action for Australia. This ad uses no words, but instead, tells a personal story through a series of video clips. The 5 MILLION plus views this video has received in just months highlights the importance of character connection and a powerful message.
If you’d like to see how one person has already applied the learning here in Minnesota, check out my post For Better, For Worse, For All. While not an official ad, you’ll see the personal stories tactic applied.
Minnesota is no exception. Voters will be faced with an amendment on marriage this NOvember. Proponents of the amendment say that it’s about “protecting marriage in Minnesota,” however, don’t be fooled. This amendment has little to do with protecting anything. In fact, same sex marriage is already prohibited in the state of Minnesota. Many people don’t even realize that. So truly, this amendment does nothing other than rehash an old debate. If you look at the history of amendments that voters have faced in Minnesota, there hasn’t been a single amendment that tried to limit the rights of the minority outside of this one.
And if you think Minnesota is too progressive, or could never pass such a mean-spirited amendment, you need to think again. If Minnesotans were to vote today, polls show this amendment passing. Yes, you heard that right: If we were to vote today, Minnesota voters would choose to update the state constitution to write in something that has already been defined for the state. This amendment would change absolutely nothing, other than put Minnesota on the wrong side of history.
With that said, there are some very positive signs. In December, Duluth became the first city to voice opposition to the amendment this NOvember. Minneapolis followed suit in 2012. Additionally, there have been many groups that have come out against the amendment including Minnesota Rabbis and Minneapolis Evangelical Lutherans along with high-power individuals like Marilyn Carlson Nelson, CEO of Carlson Companies. Missing from this group of opponents? Minnesota’s big businesses. Up to this point, many have been silent about the amendment this NOvember. Yet many of these same companies will be at Twin Cities Pride this year professing their love and support of the LGBT community; hypocrisy? You be the judge.
At the end of the day, marriage equality is moving forward. People like Zach Wahls are telling their stories. Non-profits like GetUp! Action for Australia are helping people to understand that love is love. Heck, even the Golden Girls were talking about marriage equality over 20 years ago.
I believe we’ll do what’s right in Minnesota and defeat this mean-spirited amendment; after all, love is love. Minnesota voters, I hope you’ll join me in voting NO at the polls this NOvember. It’s about equality. It’s about fairness. It’s about love.
And it’s about time.
Here’s a great feel-good commercial from the folks at GetUp! Action for Australia. Entitled, “It’s Time” the video does a great job telling the story of a relationship from the lead character’s point of view, until, at the end, a twist is revealed.
Merry Christmas. May you and yours have a wonderful holiday season.