Non-profit

Creative Alliance

Website:

civicnation.org/CreativeAlliance

Project of:

Civic Nation

Type:

Left-Wing Coalition

Formation:

2015 in Washington, D.C.

Founders:

Jason Harris

Heidi Hackemer

Executive Director:

Jenn Brown

The Creative Alliance is a coalition of private advertising and marketing companies which provide volunteer creative marketing services to the left-of-center viral marketing producer Civic Nation. The coalition partnered with the Obama administration to produce celebrity-backed advertisements promoting the Obama administration’s policies to combat perceived widespread campus sexual assault.[1]

The Creative Alliance claims that is has 75 member companies which donated over $8 million in in-kind marketing services during its first two years in operation.[2] Creative Alliance’s membership roster also includes a number or well-known media companies that help to publicize its left-leaning campaigns including Facebook, the Guardian, VH1, Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, Funny or Die, and Tumblr.[3]

The Creative Alliance’s featured campaigns are largely supportive of former President Barack Obama’s administration and policy objectives. Creative Alliance’s first campaign, “It’s On Us,” started as a White House sponsored initiative and has since been run in coordination with the Creative Alliance.[4] The campaign has been widely supported by President Obama[5] and former Vice President Joe Biden.[6] It’s On Us has also relied on the support of numerous liberal actors and organizations to promote its cause, including Jon Hamm, Kerry Washington, and Zoe Saldana.[7] Creative Alliance’s United State of Women summit and campaign, has similarly been promoted by former First Lady Michelle Obama and a wide array of liberal actresses and activists including Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Tina Fey, Laverne Cox, and former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards. [8]

Creative Alliance’s campaigns further a number of left-leaning issue priorities. Its Undivided campaign uses questionable issue polling to depict an overwhelming consensus for left-leaning policies[9] including gun control,[10] public funding of abortion,[11] expansionist immigration policy,[12] and environmentalism.[13] Similarly, the United State of Women campaign highlights issues affecting women and girls and proposes ways to advocate for left-of-center policies that could affect those issues.[14] The Creative Alliance also supports former Second Lady Jill Biden’s Heads Up America campaign (also known as the College Promise Campaign), which seeks government-funded tuition-free community college across the country.[15]

Organizational Overview

The Creative Alliance is a project of Civic Nation, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that sponsors advocacy campaigns on left-wing social and political issues.[16] The Alliance “serves as the connection point” between Civic Nation and an array of private advertising agencies, creative designers, producers, public relations experts,[17] media companies,[18] and technologists.[19] Creative Alliance member organizations donate their marketing skills and time to create and distribute messaging and marketing content[20] for left-of-center public advocacy campaigns. [21]

The Creative Alliance was created in 2015 “by Jason Harris, president and chief executive officer of Mekanism and Heidi Hackemer, vice present of the creative studio for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.”[22]

The Creative Alliance claims that its campaigns had generated 3.5 billion impressions across social media, $200 million in donated media support, and over 2,700 public events.[23]

Members

In 2017 the Creative Alliance claimed a membership of 75 companies that have donated over $8 million in in-kind contributions during the organization’s first two years.[24] The Creative Alliance’s website lists 48 member companies including Facebook, the Guardian, VH1, Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, Funny or Die, and Tumblr.[25]

Its members also include agencies such as Mekanism, Wolf and Wilhelmine, BBH, Matter Unlimited, Republica, Sub Rosa, 72andSunny, HUGE, The Black Sheep Agency, Blue Engine Message & Media, TruthCo., Spark, Chapter, Translator, RPMGRP, Havas Worldwide New York, Big Spaceship, AKQA, Briefcase and Sew L.A. [26]

Campaigns

The Creative Alliance carries out advocacy and awareness campaigns that seek communal changes centered around liberal issue items. [27] The campaigns are managed under Civic Nation but are carried out by the Creative Alliance’s members. [28]

It’s On Us

The “It’s On Us” campaign was initially created as a White House initiative in September 2014 under then-President Barack Obama.[29] President Obama was one of the campaign’s most frequent supporters. He hosted a White House summit,[30] taped a campaign Public Service Announcement (PSA) that aired at the 2015 Grammy Awards,[31] and promoted the campaign on ESPN.[32]

Similarly, former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden has hosted university rallies,[33] penned an essay,[34] and partnered with singer Lady Gaga for a performance at the 2016 Oscars in support of the It’s On Us Campaign.[35]

The It’s On Us campaign has relied on the support of numerous liberal actors and organizations to promote its cause, including Jon Hamm, Kerry Washington, and Zoe Saldana.[36]

Jason Harris and his company Mekanism in coordination with Civic Nation ran the campaign; according to Harris, it redefined how the Obama White House partnered with outside agencies to advocate for liberal issues. [37] Harris was so inspired by the campaign’s wide publicity that he worked with Civic Nation to assemble a network of marketing professionals that would volunteer to “create awareness and activism” for dozens of left-of-center issues. [38] The campaign is now described as the first Creative Alliance campaign.[39]

The United State of Women

In June 2014 President Obama’s White House Council on Women and Girls, in coordination with the Aspen Institute and Civic Nation, convened the first United State of Women summit to highlight issues affecting women and girls and to propose ways to advocate for left-of-center policies specific to women.[40]

Creative Alliance members BBH LA, RPM Group and W&W[41] created a campaign to launch the summit including a logo design, branding, and the creation of a promotional film featuring prominent left-of-center women.[42] The promotional video included featured a number of liberal celebrities supporting abortion. Among the featured women were then-First Lady Michelle Obama; liberal actresses Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Tina Fey, Connie Britton, and Laverne Cox; former-Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, and Obama administration staffers Valerie Jarrett and Cecilia Munoz, among others.[43]

The United State of Women continues to be operated as an advocacy campaign through Civic Nation and hosted a second summit in 2018.[44]

Undivided

The Undivided campaign advocates for left of center priorities by using questionable issue polling to present them as causes on which Americans are united.[45] Creative Alliance members Chapter, ModOp, and Comedy Central created and launched the Undivided campaign in September 2017.[46]

The Undivided campaign uses left-of-center language and questionably framed issue polling to depict an overwhelming consensus for left-leaning policies that in fact are hot-button political issues,[47] and seeks to get online users to pledge to support these seemingly generic policies. [48]

Undivided pushed for so-called “universal background checks” for firearm purchases.[49] Undivided also claimed that “75% of Americans agree that undocumented workers should be allowed to stay in the country” and that “71% think that the government should spend more on education.”[50]

Undivided obfuscates controversial abortion topics by claiming that a large majority of Americans support “women’s health programs” [51] and that birth control should be government-funded for women.[52] Similarly Undivided broadly indicates that 80% of Americans believe healthcare is too expensive and ties that belief to government funded healthcare subsidies. [53]

Better Make Room

Creative Alliance members Black Sheep Agency and Stackla worked with former First Lady Michelle Obama to launch and operate the Better Make Room campaign.[54] The campaign discussed the importance of higher education with high school seniors.[55]

The campaign’s most significant outgrowth was a “College Signing Day,” which promoted high schoolers touting their decisions to attend various colleges. [56]

Stand Strong

Creative Alliance members Republica created the “Stand Strong” public service citizenship campaign for the Obama White House seeking to encourage the 8.8 million eligible lawful permanent residents to obtain U.S. citizenship.[57]

Other Campaigns

Creative Alliance members have also volunteered their efforts to carry out other Civic Nation campaigns including former Second Lady Jill Biden’s Heads Up America campaign (also known as the College Promise Campaign), which seeks government-funded community college tuition and fees.[58]

Creative Alliance also assists the Every Kid IN A Park campaign, which provides subsidized access to national parks for families of fourth graders.[59]

Other Creative Alliance assisted campaigns include #VoteTogether, a voter turnout program, and higher education access programs “All In” and “Up Next.”[60]

References

  1. Beer, Jeff. “Why 20 Top Ad Agencies Joined Forces For Public Good.” Fast Company. March 15, 2016. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.fastcompany.com/3057883/why-20-top-ad-agencies-joined-forces-for-public-good ^
  2. The Creative Alliance. Facebook Post. December 23, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/creativeallnc/photos/rpp.128786781097757/153025168673918/?type=3&theater ^
  3. Civic Nation. “Creative Alliance.” Civic Nation Website. Undated. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://civicnation.org/CreativeAlliance/ ^
  4. Kingkade, Tyler. “”It’s On Us” Rape Prevention Campaign To Continue Post-Obama.” Buzzfeed News. September 16, 2016. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.buzzfeed.com/tylerkingkade/its-on-us-will-continue-post-obama?utm_term=.sn5LZGOy4#.gyzOzrWQ8 ^
  5. It’s On Us. “It’s On Us White House Summit 2017.” Youtube.com. January 5, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdqrIoQc1PM ^
  6. Biden, Joe. “”I Was Heartbroken”: Joe Biden Pens a Moving Essay About His Fight to End Sexual Assault on Campus.” Marie Claire. September 25, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.marieclaire.com/culture/news/a29656/joe-biden-its-on-us-essay/ ^
  7. Friedman, Megan. “Watch a Powerful New PSA About Sexual Consent Starring Zoe Saldana, Haim, and More Celebs.” September 1, 2015. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.marieclaire.com/sex-love/news/a15690/its-on-us-sexual-assault-zoe-saldana/ ^
  8. Obama, Michelle. “Together, We are Stronger.” The United State of Women Blog reposted from Medium. June 6, 2016. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.theunitedstateofwomen.org/blog/together-we-are-stronger/ ^
  9. Zanger, Doug. “How Undivided seeks to bring political discourse to the middle again.” The Drum. October 27, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/10/27/how-undivided-seeks-bring-political-discourse-the-middle-again ^
  10. Zanger, Doug. “How Undivided seeks to bring political discourse to the middle again.” The Drum. October 27, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/10/27/how-undivided-seeks-bring-political-discourse-the-middle-again ^
  11. Creative Alliance. Facebook Post. Facebook.com. October 7, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/creativeallnc/photos/a.131428544166914.1073741828.128786781097757/134930797150022/?type=3&theater ^
  12. Zanger, Doug. “How Undivided seeks to bring political discourse to the middle again.” The Drum. October 27, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/10/27/how-undivided-seeks-bring-political-discourse-the-middle-again ^
  13. Undivided Homepage. Weareundivided.com. Undated. Accessed May 15, 2018. http://www.weareundivided.com/#common-ground ^
  14. Obama, Michelle. “Together, We are Stronger.” The United State of Women Blog reposted from Medium. June 6, 2016. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.theunitedstateofwomen.org/blog/together-we-are-stronger/ ^
  15. Creative Alliance. Twitter Post. Twitter.com. January 8, 2018. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://twitter.com/creativeallnc/status/950397118509993989 ^
  16. Zanger, Doug. “How Undivided seeks to bring political discourse to the middle again.” The Drum. October 27, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/10/27/how-undivided-seeks-bring-political-discourse-the-middle-again ^
  17. Zanger, Doug. “How Undivided seeks to bring political discourse to the middle again.” The Drum. October 27, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/10/27/how-undivided-seeks-bring-political-discourse-the-middle-again ^
  18. Zanger, Doug. “How Undivided seeks to bring political discourse to the middle again.” The Drum. October 27, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/10/27/how-undivided-seeks-bring-political-discourse-the-middle-again ^
  19. Beer, Jeff. “Why 20 Top Ad Agencies Joined Forces For Public Good.” Fast Company. March 15, 2016. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.fastcompany.com/3057883/why-20-top-ad-agencies-joined-forces-for-public-good ^
  20. Lefcourt, Blossom. Linkedin Page. Linkedin.com website. Undated. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.linkedin.com/in/blossom-lefcourt-7418135/ ^
  21. Harris, Jason. “Why 47 Companies Stopped Competing And Started Collaborating For Good.” Forbes Magazine. June 26, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.forbes.com/sites/socialimpact/2017/06/26/why-47-companies-stopped-competing-and-started-collaborating-for-good/#59253bc220d5 ^
  22. Zanger, Doug. “How Undivided seeks to bring political discourse to the middle again.” The Drum. October 27, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/10/27/how-undivided-seeks-bring-political-discourse-the-middle-again ^
  23. The Creative Alliance. Facebook Post. December 23, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/creativeallnc/photos/rpp.128786781097757/153025168673918/?type=3&theater ^
  24. The Creative Alliance. Facebook Post. December 23, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/creativeallnc/photos/rpp.128786781097757/153025168673918/?type=3&theater ^
  25. Civic Nation. “Creative Alliance.” Civic Nation Website. Undated. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://civicnation.org/CreativeAlliance/ ^
  26. Civic Nation. “Creative Alliance.” Civic Nation Website. Undated. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://civicnation.org/CreativeAlliance/ ^
  27. “Nation’s Top Creative and Technology Agencies Join Forces to Form Creative Alliance.” Cision PR Newswire. March 17, 2016. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nations-top-creative-and-technology-agencies-join-forces-to-form-creative-alliance-300237825.html ^
  28. “Nation’s Top Creative and Technology Agencies Join Forces to Form Creative Alliance.” Cision PR Newswire. March 17, 2016. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nations-top-creative-and-technology-agencies-join-forces-to-form-creative-alliance-300237825.html ^
  29. Kingkade, Tyler. “”It’s On Us” Rape Prevention Campaign To Continue Post-Obama.” Buzzfeed News. September 16, 2016. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.buzzfeed.com/tylerkingkade/its-on-us-will-continue-post-obama?utm_term=.sn5LZGOy4#.gyzOzrWQ8 ^
  30. It’s On Us. “It’s On Us White House Summit 2017.” Youtube.com. January 5, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdqrIoQc1PM ^
  31. Somander, Tanya. “An Important Message at the 2015 GRAMMY Awards: ‘It’s On Us.’” The White House website. February 9, 2015. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2015/02/09/important-message-2015-grammy-awards-its-us ^
  32. “It’s On Us.” Espn.com website. March 18, 2015. Accessed May 15, 2018. http://www.espn.com/espnw/video/12506070/us ^
  33. “Joe Biden – It’s On Us Rally University of Miami.” Coral Gables Television Youtube Channel. March 20, 2018. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anZi6H7yHo4 ^
  34. Biden, Joe. “”I Was Heartbroken”: Joe Biden Pens a Moving Essay About His Fight to End Sexual Assault on Campus.” Marie Claire. September 25, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.marieclaire.com/culture/news/a29656/joe-biden-its-on-us-essay/ ^
  35. Fair, Julia. “Joe Biden, Lady Gaga team up again, saying ‘It’s on us’ to stand up against sexual assault.” USA Today. October 26, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/10/26/joe-biden-lady-gaga-team-up-again-saying-its-us-stand-up-against-sexual-assault/803625001/ ^
  36. Friedman, Megan. “Watch a Powerful New PSA About Sexual Consent Starring Zoe Saldana, Haim, and More Celebs.” September 1, 2015. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.marieclaire.com/sex-love/news/a15690/its-on-us-sexual-assault-zoe-saldana/ ^
  37. Beer, Jeff. “Why 20 Top Ad Agencies Joined Forces For Public Good.” Fast Company. March 15, 2016. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.fastcompany.com/3057883/why-20-top-ad-agencies-joined-forces-for-public-good ^
  38. Beer, Jeff. “Why 20 Top Ad Agencies Joined Forces For Public Good.” Fast Company. March 15, 2016. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.fastcompany.com/3057883/why-20-top-ad-agencies-joined-forces-for-public-good ^
  39. Creative Alliance. Facebook Post. Facebook.com website. September 20, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/creativeallnc/ ^
  40. Obama, Michelle. “Together, We are Stronger.” The United State of Women Blog reposted from Medium. June 6, 2016. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.theunitedstateofwomen.org/blog/together-we-are-stronger/ ^
  41. Schultz, E.J. “Pepsico, Bbh Behind Film Promoting White House Women’s Event.” AdAge. June 6, 2016. Accessed May 15, 2018. http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/pepsico-bbh-film-promoting-white-house-women-s-event/304323/ ^
  42. “Pelle Sjoenell.” The Women in Public Service Project. Undated. Accessed May 15, 2018. http://www.50x50movement.org/person/pelle-sjoenell ^
  43. Obama, Michelle. “Together, We are Stronger.” The United State of Women Blog reposted from Medium. June 6, 2016. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.theunitedstateofwomen.org/blog/together-we-are-stronger/ ^
  44. Civic Nation. “The United State of Women: Mission.” Civicnation.org website. Undated. Accessed May 17, 2018. https://civicnation.org/campaigns/the-united-state-of-women/ ^
  45. Undivided Homepage. Weareundivided.com. Undated. Accessed May 15, 2018. http://www.weareundivided.com/#common-ground ^
  46. Oster, Erik. “The Creative Alliance Seeks to Bridge the Gap with ‘Undivided’ Effort.” AdWeek. September 22, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.adweek.com/agencyspy/the-creative-alliance-seeks-to-bridge-the-gap-with-undivided-effort/138122 ^
  47. Zanger, Doug. “How Undivided seeks to bring political discourse to the middle again.” The Drum. October 27, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/10/27/how-undivided-seeks-bring-political-discourse-the-middle-again ^
  48. Undivided Homepage. Weareundivided.com. Undated. Accessed May 15, 2018. http://www.weareundivided.com/#common-ground ^
  49. Zanger, Doug. “How Undivided seeks to bring political discourse to the middle again.” The Drum. October 27, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/10/27/how-undivided-seeks-bring-political-discourse-the-middle-again ^
  50. Zanger, Doug. “How Undivided seeks to bring political discourse to the middle again.” The Drum. October 27, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/10/27/how-undivided-seeks-bring-political-discourse-the-middle-again ^
  51. Undivided Homepage. Weareundivided.com. Undated. Accessed May 15, 2018. http://www.weareundivided.com/#common-ground ^
  52. Creative Alliance. Facebook Post. Facebook.com. October 7, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/creativeallnc/photos/a.131428544166914.1073741828.128786781097757/134930797150022/?type=3&theater ^
  53. Undivided Homepage. Weareundivided.com. Undated. Accessed May 15, 2018. http://www.weareundivided.com/#common-ground ^
  54. Stackla. “Stackla For Good.” Stackla.org website. Undated. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://stackla.org/ ^
  55. Woodall, Aimee. “A Billion Impressions: Higher Education Goes Viral.” Forbes Magazine. May 5, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.forbes.com/sites/civicnation/2017/05/05/a-billion-impressions-higher-education-goes-viral/#607f9c44cbce ^
  56. Woodall, Aimee. “A Billion Impressions: Higher Education Goes Viral.” Forbes Magazine. May 5, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://www.forbes.com/sites/civicnation/2017/05/05/a-billion-impressions-higher-education-goes-viral/#607f9c44cbce ^
  57. “Republica Celebrates 10 Years Of Success With “A Show Of #Gratitude.” Republic website. November 17, 2016. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://republica.net/republica-celebrates-10-years-of-success-with-a-show-of-gratitude/ ^
  58. “Creative Alliance Twitter Post. Twitter.com. January 8, 2018. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://twitter.com/creativeallnc/status/950397118509993989 ^
  59. Civic Nation. “Every Kid in a Park: Mission.” Civic Nation.org website. Undated. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://civicnation.org/campaigns/every-kid-in-a-park/ ^
  60. Civic Nation. “Our Campaigns.” Civic Nation.org website. Undated. Accessed May 15, 2018. https://civicnation.org/campaigns/ ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

Coalition Memberships

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