The surprise sweep for marriage equality efforts at the polls in 2012 came after a dramatic shift in the television ads their backers ran — a change that came about after a year-long research effort to crack the code of previously successful ads run by marriage equality opponents that focused on “gay marriage” being taught in schools.
Among the key changes: A shift away from talk of “rights” to a focus on committed relationships; a decision to address “values” directly as being learned at home; and an attempt to give voters “permission” to change their minds, according to elements of the research shared with BuzzFeed. …
Why did it work? The summary explains, noting, “Participants strongly identified with the journey and positive values components of this message, but they were particularly compelled by the idea that core values are taught at home.” The summary also noted, visually, the importance of physically staging ads in the home: “Reinforcing the notion that parents convey values in the home, in conjunction with physically locating the conversation in that safe environment, shifted the dynamic and brought participants back to a more open and supportive place.”