Imprint Projects won ‘Brand Activation as Part of an Integrated Marketing Campaign of the Year’ at The Drum Awards for Experience with its campaign for Amazon Studios. Spotlighting a documentary film about the right to vote, it roused disenfranchised communities with a voter registration drive before the 2020 American elections. Here, get behind the scenes of this winning entry.
‘All In: The Fight For Democracy’ is a documentary film by Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortes which traces the long, insidious history of voter suppression in the United States. At the center of the film is the story of Stacey Abrams’ 2018 Georgia Governor race, and how the right to vote was tampered with.
The film, which is distributed by Amazon Studios and streams on Prime Video, was set to launch in September 2020 - a moment of complete crisis and chaos. Amazon Studio’s challenge of us was two-fold:
Create broad awareness and drive viewership for “All In”
Deliver on the filmmaker's mission to educate and empower disenfranchised voters
But with the US paralyzed by the Covid-19 pandemic, struggling with a painful racial reckoning, and a pivotal national election just weeks away - how could we break through?
Standard film promotional strategies would not suffice. This was not a moment to sit back in Hollywood and speak at people from afar. This was an opportunity to listen, connect and share authentically.
Our two-part strategy drew inspiration from Stacey Abrams and the grassroots movement she has led:
Amplify powerful voices and credible institutions to drive awareness at scale
Go directly to the most susceptible communities and connect on a personal level
We recognized the need to mobilize and visit the very places in the documentary to bring the history to life, and protect the right to vote to inspire present day turnout. With less than six weeks at our disposal, we rolled up our sleeves and went to work.
We kicked off the ‘All In For Voting’ campaign by collaborating with Andrea Pippins, an influential artist we commissioned to create illustrations that would connect all creative elements: from movie posters to building-sized murals to a fleet of five busses.
In mere weeks, we coordinated a series of 21 pop-up outdoor film screenings and 55 voter registration events that took place in disenfranchised communities throughout the United States.
We premiered the film in Statesboro, Georgia on September 8th, and over the next two weeks, our five busses mobilized communities in 18 states from Florida to Wisconsin to Arizona - locations that are often overlooked by brand marketers.
Each event adhered to Covid-19 safety measures, and featured uplifting illustrations and giveaways including hats, stickers, posters, postcards and masks to inspire people to remember what they saw and to cast their vote.
Along the way our fleet stopped to honor and connect with crowds at historical civil rights landmarks profiled in the documentary. From the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama (site of the famous Civil Rights march where demonstrators were attacked by the police as they attempted to march to the state capital, Montgomery), to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, to the hallowed grounds of the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument in Washington DC - these destinations forged powerful ties between the film and real life, and the past and present - raising visibility for “All In” and its important message.
Partnerships and Social
We resourced local activists along the tour and partnered with 55 non-profits including the NAACP and The Southern Poverty Law Center to create visibility and draw attendance to local events. Part of each alliance included a social media campaign, which spread broader awareness of the documentary and resources via holistic online social content captured on the road.
We enlisted the help of 13 influential artists/activists to spread the word and build sticker packs for Instagram for attendees to spread the word.
We created an online impact hub - www.allinforvoting.com, to provide enduring resources like voter registration information, coverage from the activation, and screening details for the film. In addition, all of the on-the-ground activity was amplified by strategic digital and social promotions, and UGC.
Out of Home
In key markets that we did not travel to, out-of-home (wild posting and murals) gave special love to neighborhoods with historically low voter turnout to inspire tune-in and civic engagement.
The campaign was a huge success - both in the deep support felt in vulnerable communities at the activations, and the enormous scale achieved online. The campaign delivered 300M impressions and garnered $1.3M in additional earned media value. 125,000 people engaged with our online voting hub - registering to vote, requesting ballots, and volunteering.
The one-to-one connections forged with in-person event attendees highlights the real-world impact of the campaign. Participants’ sentiment below reflect the gravity:
“This is a great event for our community. We definitely welcome you all here and are happy to see you putting in the effort to get people to vote. Events like this really make a difference.” - Orlando, Florida
“I love what you guys are doing, this is what we fought for” - Veteran from the American Legion hall, Phoenix, Arizona
“It’s so important to get the message across to these young ones. I marched for this here.” - Selma, Alabama
“I’m glad I came over to register to vote. I’ve been saying I'm going to do it but never did. This is definitely a year for everyone to vote and be heard.” - Jacksonville, Florida
The experiential activation in particular elevated and humanized Amazon Studios’ brand by showing up to support communities in need. Forbes celebrated the promotional efforts noting how “Amazon Studios’ uncompromising advocacy for broad participation and voting rights in the context of the 2020 election is therefore a lot more than a PR move. It’s a declaration of principles that could turn out to have important consequences in this election and beyond.”
The impact of this film, our campaign, and our partners continues to reverberate today as thousands of more people are now engaged in the ongoing fight to guarantee all citizens their voting rights.
This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Experience. To find out more, including which competitions are currently open for entry, visit The Drum Awards website.