End the Hall Tax

In 2016, the nonprofit Beacon Center of Tennessee approached Emergent Order with an unusual request: Create a multi-platform marketing campaign to repeal Tennessee’s Hall Tax, an 87-year-old income tax that disproportionately harmed senior citizens and small business owners.

    • Creative
    • Communications Strategy
    • Website + App Design
    • Production
    • Video Production
    • Post Production
    • Marketing
    • Media Planning + Buying
Play

Impact at a glance

4.4 million video impressions

30,000 monthly site visits

4,500 petition signups

Repealed the Hall Tax!

Challenges

Where to start!? How about the Governor. Tennessee's Republican Governor, Bill Haslam, the richest public official in the U.S., repeatedly stated that he would not consider signing any legislation that could be misconstrued as a tax break for the wealthy.

Next, the Beacon Center faced resistance from a powerful cadre of mayors whose towns benefited from revenue collected through the Hall Tax. Finally, public awareness was astonishingly low. Beacon’s own polling showed that only 17 percent of Tennesseans even knew the tax existed.

Outcomes

Umm...we ended the Hall Tax. How’s that for an outcome?

But seriously: On May 20th, Gov. Bill Haslam signed the bill, making Tennessee the second state in U.S. history to repeal an income tax.

Key Stats

Metric

How We Did

Video Views

1.8 million video completions; 4.4 million total video impressions in a state of just 6.5 million people

Website Visits

30,000

Petition Sign-Ups

4,500

Emails Generated to Legislators

75,000 total emails

Mobile video impressions served inside Capitol building

164,000

Highest engagement on a single Facebook post

6,300 reactions, 249 comments, and 1,100 Shares

Hall Tax

REPEALED

Tactics

Emergent Order designed and launched an optimized micro-site, and produced three videos for digital distribution. The campaign launched at the beginning of the legislative period with a targeted media buy in specific districts, along with an aggressive statewide push on Facebook supported by an email marketing campaign. Simultaneously, video ads were delivered to lawmakers inside the Tennessee Capitol building using mobile geo-fencing technology.

  • Website: Responsive, goal optimized micro-site
  • Original Content: Banner ads; optimized social media ads; 15-second, 45-second, and 120-second videos
  • Facebook Targeted Advertising: Custom pixel tracking for visits and signups
  • Facebook Custom Audiences: Email list matching, lookalike audiences, and retargeting
  • Audience Partners Ad Network: Banner ads and video pre-roll served to pre-screened audiences in targeted districts
  • Audience Partners Mobile App Geo-Fence:Banner ads and video-pre-roll served only to mobile phones within the Capitol Building
  • Google Analytics: Custom goal completion and campaign tracking via UTM codes
  • Quantcast Measurement Analytics: Pixel tracking to establish audience demographics such as political party identification, education level, HHI, and likelihood to engage
  • Email Marketing: Weekly emails to petition signer list

TL;DR

  • Emergent Order can literally change the law. :)
  • Client-agency teamwork makes the dream work
  • Entertaining text is a powerful tool
  • Laser-focused marketing strategy, properly executed, makes all the difference

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Independent Institute