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Proof in Our Collective Pudding.
SHS acknowledges that there's work that's bad and effective and then there's work that's good and effective. We always vote for the latter. So, what happens when a brand chooses to stand out? Good things, friends. Good things.
Pratt & Whitney
In 2009 and 2010, a hard-fought battle raged in the Capitol. Even though Pratt & Whitney’s F135 Joint Strike Fighter engine was already flying and in production, some in Congress continued their push for taxpayer funding to develop an alternate version of the engine – an engine that the military doesn’t even want. SHS was enlisted to create a campaign to urge Congress to defund this extra engine.
The majority of today’s likely voters are energized by several key issues. At the top of that list are the issues of wasteful spending and support for our troops. We realized that our task was to inform congressional decision makers that a vote for funding the extra engine would be a colossal waste of taxpayer money that could be better used to equip our soldiers in harm’s way.
THE ONE THING
The alternative to Pratt & Whitney’s proven engine is billions of dollars in government waste for an extra engine that the military doesn’t even want.
We realized that this complex issue required a two-pronged approach: Communicate that the Pratt & Whitney engine is proven and in production while revealing that the competing engine is yet more irrational government spending. We chose to reach high-level influencers and decision makers through the media they frequent. Because of today’s 24/7 news cycle, we placed banner ads and pre-roll video on thehill.com and other political-wonk-friendly media – in addition to traditional print media read by political insiders. Paid search and a mobile site? You bet.
On February 16, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment stripping the $450 million extra-engine earmark for the Joint Strike Fighter from HR 1, the continuing resolution for 2011. The vote of 233–198 marked a tipping point for the defense budget. It was split closely between the Republicans and Democrats, marking the first time that a major defense program has been whacked under the new Congress. Major defense publications were red-faced as they had predicted likely passage of the funding. The 2011 vote was a turnaround from a 193-231 defeat in 2010.