Clever creative helped R&R position Arizona’s Citizens Clean Elections Commission as a nonpartisan, unbiased, official government agency that publishes neutral political information.
Voters have enough to think about when deciding among candidates and ballot questions. The process shouldn’t make the task more daunting. In Arizona, the Citizens Clean Election Commission has tools and resources available for voters to help them prepare for elections.
The question: How do we bring more awareness to the Commission?
R&R Partners’ research uncovered that Arizona voters are completely overwhelmed by the process of finding trustworthy research they can use to formulate opinions about candidates. Bias, hidden agendas and negativity were all cited as common hurdles.
The solution was to position Clean Elections as a nonpartisan, unbiased, official government agency that publishes neutral information about political processes and procedures, providing every voter with statements directly from the candidates.
Creatively, we depicted several alternatives to using information from Clean Elections – we see voters resort to flipping a coin and using fortune-telling devices like a paper finger fortune and a Magic 8 Ball. Producing creative that is the complete opposite of the types of political ads that would typically be in market – entertaining, voter-centric, humorous, simple to understand, quiet, honest and free of bias – drove the point home with voters.
With its amazing thrill rides, legendary nightclubs, world-famous resorts and high-end restaurants, Las Vegas is the perfect city to use a virtual reality technology platform to appeal to the next generation of travelers.
On behalf of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, R&R Partners worked to make this Vegas VR idea into a reality of its own. Our team created a 360-degree video rig and went to work shooting content panoramas that showcase Las Vegas in a way some have never seen.
The next challenge: How to distribute it? R&R created VegasVR, a user-friendly application for Apple and Android devices to give users a glimpse of the Las Vegas experience from anywhere while providing great level of in-market immersion to a wide range of demographics.
Compatible with Google Cardboard/tray-based headsets
Share the Vegas VR app to Facebook, Twitter and email
Interactive 3D menu
From VR content acquisition to distribution, R&R has positioned the LVCVA brand among the very first adopters of what will eventually rock the travel industry. R&R has also paved the way with 360-degree/VR media buys, innovative partnerships and activation placements. Read more about VegasVR in the LA Times.
The most exciting part of all: This is just the beginning. From a production standpoint to a content distribution and interactive perspective, R&R has huge plans for the VegasVR app and campaigns in 2016. Stay tuned, because when it comes to Las Vegas adventure, soon you’ll be in for the virtual ride of your life.
Anything you want to know about Vegas, you can search for and uncover pretty easily. But what if you’re looking for EVERYTHING Vegas?
Welcome to VIVA, the new Las Vegas-branded content hub within LasVegas.com. On February 2, the Las Vegas team at R&R Partners launched the new, accentuated blog, which was developed to provide engaging and educational information to the online audience. With a uniquely visual and intuitive design, users can easily browse and explore topics that all contain a collection of digital content designed to further generate a sense of interest and excitement around the destination.
The necessity of creating a content hub was generated from the content marketing strategy that Las Vegas implemented to further reinforce positive association through branded experiences, ultimately supporting visitation goals. Through this strategy, the library of branded content began to grow, and required an evolution of the Las Vegas digital ecosystem, and VIVA was born!
Not only is valuable content created and housed on VIVA, but the R&R team also is looking at performance. Doing so will provide valuable insight into how the audience interacts with the content hub. For instance, identifying what types of content the audience finds more engaging, looking at what the audience is searching for, and finding out what type of device they’re using. As we monitor these metrics, we’ll be able to further optimize the site and provide a greater, more meaningful experience for our audience – with the ultimate goal of driving increased visitation.
Congratulations to our director of strategic communications in Salt Lake City, Steve Wright, for earning R&R Partners’ Employee of the Year honors for 2015.
Wright’s expertise in social cause public awareness campaigns such as the Parents Empowered Underage Drinking prevention campaign and the Utah Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign have helped them receive national recognition.
With 10 years of service at R&R, Wright is very popular both with co-workers and clients. During his decade at R&R Partners, he has held positions including director of public affairs, group account director and his current role as director of strategic communications, where he personally manages more than $9.5 million in annual local billings.
Prior to working at R&R Partners, Wright received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in advertising and business management. He also earned a master’s degree in professional communications.
In each of the last five years, R&R Partners has awarded what we affectionately call The Big Fat Prize. It is an annual cash award presented to the team that created the campaign or initiative that most exemplified our philosophy of building and protecting our clients’ brands. Winning requires excellence in strategic insight and thinking, the quality of the work itself and, of course, results.
The rules are simple. Entries are limited to one 8 ½ x 11 page. No fewer than three, but no more than five, finalists are chosen to present to the judges. Presentations have one rule – they cannot exceed 30 minutes. The judges are president and chief brand officer Mary Ann Mele, SVP/strategic consulting David Ellis and me.
This year, seven entries were submitted, one of them delivered by Brandi Skrtich’s dog Buddy (a very good dog). Three were ultimately selected as finalists.
And so on Wednesday, February 17, teams representing the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s Nothing’s Sexier Than Saving Water Compliance Campaign, Boeing’s new corporate website, and the Clark County Animal Foundation’s In-Fur-mercial campaign brought their best to the judges in a series of three 30-minute presentations.
Then the hard work began. Never before in its Big Fat history has it been more difficult for the judges to choose a Big Fat Prize winner. For the SNWA, it was a campaign that overcame some early obstacles to ultimately create $14 million in earned media (40 times the media spend) and, most importantly, motivate Southern Nevadans to save more than 1.5 billion gallons of water in the span of just two weeks. Or the Boeing team, who was faced with the daunting task of consolidating 22 separate sites and more than 11,000 pages of content into one cohesive site of fewer than 1,000 pages with fully functional desktop, tablet and mobile versions. Finally, there was the Animal Foundation team, who tackled their pro bono project with virtually no budget whatsoever and managed to turn the fortunes of the client around with some of the most unexpected and inspired creative seen in that or any other category for quite some time. In fact, their use of the time-honored infomercial format to promote pet adoptions was so spot-on, they actually won a special award from the Electronic Retailing Association (basically, the infomercial industry) in a competition they didn’t even enter.
In truth, any of the finalists would have made a very appropriate Big Fat Prize winner. All three presentations were excellently done, every entry produced results that R&R will proudly promote well into the future, and the work at the center of each was strategically based and incredibly smart.
But the rules say we had to pick a winner, and after three days of thought and discussion, the SNWA finished ahead by the narrowest of margins. It was the toughest and closest call that the Big Fat judges have ever had to make.
Faraday Future was considering four U.S. sites for its billion-dollar manufacturing facility for electric vehicles. Nevada was chosen, contingent upon passage by the Legislature of an incentive package (re: taxes) to seal the deal.
That was the easy part. Once Nevada was selected, R&R Partners had to navigate a multitude of pieces of this puzzle. We worked with the city of North Las Vegas to ensure its needs were met. We facilitated negotiations with the unions and Faraday Future to ensure we’d have Democratic support for passing the legislation, and resolved transparency issues to also ensure Republican support. We worked with the SNWA to facilitate water issues, given the site for the plant has no existing infrastructure. We worked to educate the client on how Nevada works, and what concessions it would need to make to secure the deal, helping them to avoid any political vulnerabilities. We media-trained and created messaging for the client to effectively communicate its position. We lobbied the Legislature to pass the necessary bills. In short, we tackled this issue from every angle to create an overall strategic plan for the client to be successful.
The results? The Legislature passed all the bills required for Faraday Future to bring its facility to Nevada. A couple of weeks later, it had an incredibly successful, long-awaited unveiling of its concept car at CES. And then Faraday Future hired us to continue to help navigate some of the commitments it made to the state as part of the deal, both GPA and PR services.
How does Ford wow European driving enthusiasts and compete with the likes of BMW and Jaguar?
Make it powerful. Make it elegant. Make it timeless. That’s the new Ford Vignale.
The R&R engagement team has been selected once again to play a part in Ford’s European market growth by helping to expand its exclusive line of Vignale vehicles to four additional models over the next two years.
We got behind the wheel and designed and developed a Ford Vignale website, and created a new interactive kiosk design.
After almost a decade of drought and what experts are calling the lowest Sierra snowpack in 500 years (that’s not a typo – five centuries), the Western states are rapidly learning what we have known all along: Water is precious. It is vital to our way of life and we can’t take its presence for granted.
When R&R first began working on water conservation efforts with the Southern Nevada Water Authority more than 20 years ago, many residents here had many misconceptions on who was using water and how it could be saved. Many thought the huge hotels in the resort corridor with their fountains and water features were the biggest users. Others named golf courses. But the fact was, and still is, that the resort corridor consumes 3 to 4 percent of our water. The truth is, in a valley of more than 2 million residents, the vast majority is used by residents − everyday people living everyday lives. Further, the vast majority of that majority is used outside, keeping trees, shrubs − and mostly, lawns − alive in our arid desert climate.
So if the residents are the people using it, we knew they’d have to be the ones who save it. Over the years, our work has shown them how. This month, we’ve introduced two new campaigns to continue the momentum we’ve built up over the years.
The first is centered on the SNWA’s Water Smart Landscaping program. It’s based on a simple premise: Lawns are the biggest single consumer of water in Las Vegas. If you want to make a significant reduction in water use, replace your thirsty grass with more water-efficient desert landscaping. And the Water Authority will actually pay you money to do it through rebates. It is a program that saves 9.6 billion gallons of water a year and has, to date, upgraded more than 172 million square feet of grass to desert landscaping.
The primary message of the campaign is simple: “Get Your Head Out of Your Grass.” Short, simple, to the point. The Water Authority certainly understands that people like their lawns. And no one is suggesting that there is no place for lawns at all. Only that if we all found a way to get along with a little less grass, the water savings can be substantial. Substantial, as in 9.6 billion gallons a year. Ordinary people, doing ordinary things.
The second campaign is a continuation of an initiative the Water Authority has undertaken for many years. The situation is thus: Summer in Las Vegas is really hot. To keep our plants and lawns alive in June, July and August, we have to set the timers on our sprinklers and irrigation systems to run very frequently (almost all Southern Nevada homes and businesses control their sprinklers with automatic timers). But once the shorter daylight hours and cooler temperatures of fall arrive, our landscaping doesn’t need as much water and residents can adjust their timers accordingly. In fact, they should.
But people are busy, and they forget. This campaign reminds them.
Very sexy, very easy, very effective. Billions of gallons saved every year with virtually no effect whatsoever on the lives of the home and business owners who do it. Ordinary people, doing ordinary things. Saving water, one gallon at a time.
That’s how, living in the middle of the Mojave Desert during the worst drought any of us has ever known, the citizens of Southern Nevada are saving more than 42.5 million gallons of water a day. It’s how we have reduced our consumption of water from 248 gallons per capita per day (GPCD) in 2008 to 118 GPCD in 2014. It’s how we’re saving water at a rate five times greater than the rate of our population growth.
That’s how we’re saving water here in the desert. And that’s how the other Western states can too − ordinary people doing ordinary things.
When R&R Partners was brought in to help revive a stale and scattered campaign – Utah’s “Slow the Flow, Save H2O” statewide public education message to encourage homeowners to reduce water use – our agency was asked that our strategies be research-driven and strategically focused.
We took on the project with the glass half full. We began an exhaustive review of existing research and then conducted our own, which provided key insights that inspired a radical shift in the campaign.
R&R based all of its messaging strategies and tactics on one of the most respected, evidence-based theories of social cause marketing that aims to change social norms and convert intentions to act into positive social behaviors. First, R&R created an innovative partnership with Utah’s MLS team, REAL Salt Lake, to leverage its loyal fan base of men (61%) and homeowners (82%). It was the perfect fit, with its playing season even overlapping the spring/summer advertising campaign. We created co-branded TV, radio and online ads that featured REAL players and their “Grass Whisperer” – the guy responsible for the natural lush turf. And in a nontraditional messaging twist, we also lined all of the water fountains in the stadium with artificial turf to remind fans “your pitch only needs a sip. Don’t overwater.”
We also searched for ways to have direct contact with Utahns when they were already thinking about their outdoor watering. We expanded our community partnerships to include The Home Depot. What better way to communicate to the millennial male about conserving water outdoors than at the point of decision, while he’s searching for a replacement sprinkler head? All 22 Home Depot stores across the state enthusiastically joined in the effort.
The outcome: The campaign has attained enviable awareness levels, especially for social cause initiatives, with 64 percent audience recall. And not only are people remembering the message, they’re also taking action to implement conservation behaviors.
We’re changing the game by changing the social norm, from a culture of consumption to one of conservation.
Anti-tobacco. Anti-drunk driving. Anti-underage drinking. Anti-prescription drug abuse. Anti-water waste. The list of social issues marketing goes on and on, including everything from public transit to seat-belt safety to pet spay and neuter.
Why so many social issues ad campaigns? Well, for starters, R&R stopped calling them ad campaigns a long time ago. Now, we call them what they really are − community mobilization efforts.
It takes a village to raise a perception
The secret to effective social issues marketing isn’t a secret at all. Two scholars named Martin Fishbein and Icek Ajzen figured it out in 1980 and named it the Theory of Reasoned Action. As an equation, the theory looks like this:
In practice, it’s a lot easier to understand. Basically, it says that people’s beliefs, attitudes, intentions and behaviors don’t change in a vacuum. Every step along the way, people are looking around at what other people’s beliefs, attitudes and behaviors are, too. The more that everybody else believes or behaves a certain way, the easier it is for a person’s beliefs or behaviors to change and conform.
It makes sense. You see a billboard telling you that underage drinking impairs a teen’s brain development, and you think, “That’s interesting.” However, if you see your local bar, and supermarket, and office building, and gas station, and ski resort, and sports team, and friend all telling you to keep alcohol away from teens because it impairs proper brain development, then you’re likely to keep alcohol away from teens. Sometimes peer pressure is a good thing.
Creating win-win-win-win situations
To date, R&R Salt Lake City has created more than 230 unique community activations and partnerships for its social issues clients, ranging from cement companies putting spinning messages on the barrels of their trucks to the U.S. Ski Team wearing crushed beer can gold medals during training camp. The more unique and innovative the opportunity, the better. Three months ago, R&R built a taxidermy display of Utah’s deadliest predators at a sporting goods store, featuring a drunk driver as by far and away the most dangerous creature in the state. (We didn’t kill and stuff a drunk driver, by the way.) Stinky air fresheners, toilet bowl stickers, parade floats, billiard balls, fortune cookies, 13-foot-tall nutcrackers − they’ve all been featured as part of R&R’s social issues partnerships.
Companies and organizations like to partner on the issues because it shows them as good corporate citizens. The media likes the partnerships because they allow them to talk about important, but old and tired, issues in fresh, new ways. Our clients like the partnerships because they stretch budgets and earn free media coverage (more than $43 million), and the community benefits from the partnerships because they make positive attitude and behavior changes more likely. Everybody wins.
And speaking of winning
R&R’s social campaigns are among the most awarded and respected in America. MADD has named R&R’s underage drinking prevention efforts as the nation’s outstanding PSA campaign twice, and patterned MADD’s own national prevention efforts on R&R’s model. The American Public Transportation Association and National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse directors have officially recognized R&R’s campaigns as industry best practices, and R&R’s social issues advertising has won dozens of state, national and international creative awards.
The biggest win for R&R Partners, however, are the thousands of people leading healthier, happier and more secure lives as a result of our work.