League of Women Voters “She is me”
How did one of America's most beloved civic organizations breathe new life into its brand and stand out from its peers? When it comes to finding your people and sharing your impact, there's no better way than thoughtful, authentic storytelling (and some dramatic visuals can't hurt). Beaconfire RED and the League of Women Voters worked together to create a cross-channel brand campaign, 'She is me,' that pushed the League's mission forward.
How do you stand out in a crowd?
The League of Women Voters was founded in 1920, just a few months before the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. And today, the League’s nonpartisan work to expand voting rights and defend democracy is still thriving. So, when issues of voting rights and election fairness dominated the headlines in 2016 and 2018, the League should have been at the center of the conversation. But a perception of the brand as old-fashioned limited the group’s ability to bring in new supporters.
Building a more diverse League
Beaconfire RED and the League worked together to develop a brand campaign that could give the League a relationship with a new group of supporters. We needed to show grassroots activists that the League has become more diverse, more age-inclusive, and more equitable — more reflective of the movement it’s a part of.
That meant getting creative. We considered several different campaign ideas together before moving forward with 'She is me,' a powerful approach that quite literally shows the many faces of the new League: women and allies of all ages, races, and backgrounds all working to defend democracy.
The right stories, told to the right people, in the right way
We started by conducting interviews with several League members, each with a compelling story to tell. Those stories, rich with specific details, are featured on a microsite for the 'She is me' campaign, one that familiarizes new audiences with the League's work and provides easy ways for supporters to join and donate.
And because stock imagery wasn’t going to cut it, we took the extra step of commissioning photographs of our featured members. The three-quarter-length portraits convey strength and dignity, and they were taken in natural settings to suggest warmth and approachability.
Keeping up the momentum
Even as 'She is me' launched with a series of hyper-targeted ads across social media, Beaconfire RED was working with the League of Women Voters to give the campaign a long, fruitful shelf life. That meant launching a campaign video, ensuring a smooth on-boarding experience for new supporters through custom automated emails, and giving new supporters a way to immediately engage with the 'She is me' movement via action alerts and surveys.
The League thoughtfully and intentionally set reach and engagement goals for the 'She is me' campaign, even though the campaign was partly meant to boost brand recognition. Another key takeaway the League wanted was learnings about who they could reach and how these users engage. Could the 'She is me' campaign be a proof of concept for new advertising outreach in the future? Let’s find out...
Campaign goals were divided between driving traffic to the 'She is me' microsite and acquiring new supporter email addresses. Beaconfire RED chose to use advertising as its main platform due to targeting capabilities and the opportunity to include compelling messaging and imagery within the ad. After extensive testing, we found that messaging highlighting the personal stories of individuals who have made an impact in their communities resonated most with users.
Through demographic targeting, Beaconfire RED’s advertising efforts supported the League’s goals of reaching people of color and individuals ages 18–45, both demographic areas that the League’s membership base lacked.
Advertising efforts led to more than 8 million impressions and over 300,000 visits to the dedicated 'She is me' website, where users can read more member stories and take further action, like signing up for email communications or learning more about how the League protects democracy. The campaign continues to prove the League’s ability to transform its image in this new age.
Another bonus of the 'She is me' campaign is that those who completed a survey in the email welcome stream provided more information about their topic interests, which we can target with email or ad creative subsequently.
'She is me' was awarded a Silver W3 Award from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts in 2019.
Whatever the future holds, the 'She is me' campaign is working to fundamentally transform the way the world sees the League — and the way the League can change the world. By building a more representative digital presence, the League has started to build awareness, diversify its member base and lay a foundation for the next 100 years.