advertising fail

If This Awful Ad Is The Best Rhode Island Marriage Coalition Can Come Up With, We’re Doomed

Jesus. Has the Rhode Island Marriage Coalition learned nothing from California’s Prop 8? From Maine’s Question 1? From Washington State’s Referendum 71? Ads like the one above — which began airing in the Rhode Island today — are ineffective. Don’t get me wrong: The spot is very touching. Me, personally? I love hearing about happy couples in love, and how they met, and how they survived a crisis together. But they don’t motivate anyone to get off the couch. So while Rhode Island’s marriage bill isn’t up to voters, it is up to voters to call their lawmakers and tell them how they should vote. Ads like this, the warm fuzzy “It’s Just Time” kind, just don’t do it. (WHAT IN GOD’S NAME IS THAT MUSIC PLAYING IN THE BACKGROUND?) If you want voters to call up their elected officials and demand our rights, then we’ve seen time and again you need to give them a reason to do so. And this is done by playing into our worst fears, not playing cozy like we’re a bunch of helpless sacks.

It’s the sad truth of political advertising: the threat of something harmful elicits a stronger response than telling everyone how bright the sun could shine one day. Don’t tell television viewers about how wonderful your families are — tell them how YOUR FAMILIES ARE BEING DESTROYED because of marriage discrimination. About how you can’t afford health insurance because your partner isn’t eligible for your plan. About how if you were to die, your partner would have no legal right to care for your children. These aren’t make believe scenarios you’d be misrepresenting to voters. THIS IS REAL LIFE. These are the actual horror stories our community faces because we cannot marry. Our opponents are playing by this rule book. And they’re laughing at the fact that The Gays are not. So grow a pair, Rhode Island Marriage Coalition. Put up a fight like you actually think you could win. Until then, you’re wasting your donors’ money. Stop making ads that make you feel good.

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  • FWIW

    For the record: we WON Referendum 71. So it might not serve your point to lump it together with the fight over Question 1 in Maine or Proposition 8 in California.

  • Yinzer

    R71 passed successfully in Washington preserving the domestic partnership legislation.

  • annoyed

    what do you know about moving voters? you are a pathetic blogger. moron.

    seriously? have you done message testing, do you know the core concerns of straight voters? do you know anything? i am sure you don’t and you aren’t helping anyone by trashing people who are doing real work.

  • Chitown Kev

    There will be no referendum in Rhode Island (a legislative trigger is required…unlike the situations in Maine and Maryland).

    Do you people research anything?

  • kenfish

    …and with ‘friends’ like this, we don’t need enemies!

  • Queerty Is Terrible

    Whoever you are, JD, your analysis has been wrong for pretty much every single topic you have posted. It is kind of embarrassing.

  • Stanley

    I agree with this post. This ad isn’t anything really different than what people in Prop 8 did.

    Whether you like it or not, the people have spoken from Maine to California, and when same-sex marriage has been on the ballot in 30 different states, it has been rejected every time. Even the voters of the liberal state of California have chosen to limit marriage to the union between one man & one woman.

    If you want to change minds, then all of you gay liberals & gay activist types need to start reaching out to more conservatives, as well as people of color — particularly African-Americans, Latinos, and Asian-Americans. All of those groups are more culturally traditional and the majority of whom don’t support same-sex marriage.

  • Jeffree

    What’s the reason that anti-marriage equality amendments/ propositions pass even though surveys show popular support for equality?

    Easy answers. The anti-equality people are often encouraged by their churches & pastors to get to the voting booth. The lukewarm middle people don’t care all that much OR assume that the measure will fail. The pro-equality people go vote, but often don’t talk our str8 allies into showing up to vote NO.

    The fundies see this as a war of good vs. evil, the moderates think it’s much ado about nada, and liberals assume their liberal friends will vote the same way so they don ‘t have to go vote NO after all !

  • Stanley

    @Jeffree: The reason that same-sex marriage bans pass even though polls indicate otherwise is because most Americans don’t support same-sex marriage.

    When asked in polls, people give the “politically correct” answer of supporting same-sex marriage because they don’t want gay people to attack them, or call them a “bigot”. But in the voting booth, people vote how they really feel.

    This is a battle of good vs. evil. Marriage is an important institution. There are a lot of common-sense conservatives who are very supportive of giving the same rights & privileges as marriages in the form of civil unions. Case in point — while every single time voters have voted against same-sex marriage, in Washington, voters supported creating domestic partnerships for gay couples (Referendum 71).

    But a lot of gay liberals who cry & whine about “marriage equality” have no interest or desire to get married & be in a committed, monogamous relationship. They are heterophobic and they aim to destroy traditional families.

    Because when you destroy families, all you have left is allegiance to the state. And with that, you have fascism & socialism, with the government telling you what to do, and what you can or cannot believe. I’m afraid this is what gay liberals really want. This talk of “equality” is a red herring for socialism.

  • Truthful

    JD, you really are nothing but a turd.

    I get second hand embarrassment when I read your articles.

  • Adam

    Having lived in California during the whole Proposition 8 clusterfuck, it’s worth noting that they didn’t even start to bring out ads like this until October. Before that, they had made it all about civil rights, and the government interfering with our lives, which was arguing to the wrong demographic entirely.

    That being said, I agree with the post. They need to step it up, the RIMC can’t be relying on these ads because they aren’t nearly as effective as they think they are. We need a new tactic, if we present it as a “it would be nice” kind of thing, people aren’t going to care. What happened to the “No More Mr. Nice Gay?” attitude that came out after Prop 8. Let’s raise hell and throw punches back harder and faster than the bigots can.

  • Mike in Asheville

    Well JD, you really need to do at least a little background and fact checking.

    As others have noted, we won the vote in Washington, and RI’s legislative and referendum rules are similar to Mass requiring a legislative support before a referendum can be placed before voters.

    This feel good ad is meant to counter NOM’s demonizing ads. Before opining the utter failure of “feel good” ads, you might want to ponder, if these adds are so ineffective, as you claim, then explain why in RI and around the entire country, public support for marriage equality keeps growing, now up to 46% nationally.

    Save your venom for NOM, Catholics, Morons (sic intentional), et al. If you have something to contribute, make your own ad and offer it up. It takes a multi-sided approach to win; so make your ad showing your ideas.

  • edgyguy1426

    and you have the nerve to lobby for an LGBT blog award?

Comments are closed.