With Minnesota’s state government divided between a new Republican-controlled legislature and a new Democratic Governor, analysts knew the battle to balance the state’s budget would be fierce. The Coalition of Minnesota Businesses (CMB), a non-partisan, grassroots organization comprised of 11 employer groups representing more than 20,000 Minnesota employers with hundreds of thousands of employees across the state, decided to weigh in. CMB wanted to get their message out that lawmakers should resolve the state’s $5 billion deficit by spending tax dollars wisely and redesigning public programs — not raising taxes.
The CMB worked with ExactDrive to design effective online display ads and target those ads to people most likely to contact legislators and the Governor. The first set of ads, run during the regular legislative session in May, directed users to a CMB webpage that made it easy to send a message to the State Capitol. After the session ended without a budget solution, CMB and ExactDrive ran millions of impressions reinforcing the message to balance the budget without job-killing tax hikes. That round of ads included in-banner video ads using the CMB’s 30-second TV ad that was also running on broadcast and cable. The online ads were targeted by legislative district, to reinforce cable TV and newspaper ads running in the same areas.
ExactDrive delivered more than 12 million targeted ad impressions during the CMB’s online campaign in May and June 2011. After a 20-day state government shutdown, the CMB’s goal was achieved — lawmakers and the Governor enacted a balanced budget that did not increase taxes. State Capitol observers noted that the CMB’s effort was the first they’d seen that effectively used TV, newspaper and online advertising together.
Established in 1990, CMB is a non-partisan, grassroots organization comprised of 11 employer groups representing more than 20,000 Minnesota employers with hundreds of thousands of employees across the state.