The problem: Making people care at all.

In 2005, I found myself on staff on a New York City Public Advocate campaign which had a number of serious issues, including no coherent expression of its message, and no efficient strategy for reaching the voters they needed to reach. Within days (things in political campaigns happen incredibly quickly, or not at all), I had taken on two additional responsibilities: field (voter outreach) operations for Manhattan, and creation of marketing materials and graphic image. The resulting promotional effort was as unconventional as the candidate, and owed more to the advertising style of tech companies at the time than that of political candidates. Using better-than-average photography, a casual, witty writing style, and a number of “guerrilla” marketing efforts, I presented a campaign that was harder to ignore.

The campaign did not, ultimately, do very well. But, as with many political campaigns, there are too many factors to determine why. I do know, however, that the promotional work got attention far beyond the campaign, and my geographic analysis of voters presented the campaign with a great deal of data which contradicted conventional wisdom.