Friends of D11

Mill levy campaign

Branding // Marketing Campaign // Video Design // Web Design & Development
The challenge

Kids vs. Taxes

Colorado Springs School District 11 had yet to pass a major funding bill since 2010. One of the district’s greatest challenges was in their demographic – made up of mostly older citizens and empty nesters with fixed incomes. Together with Friends of D11, we set out to create a campaign that refocused the ballot issue from increased taxes to the future of our kids – and our community.

Our approach

Real kids, real community

You can hear us spouting off quotes by Simon Sinek regularly, and one particular quote rang true for this campaign: “People don’t buy what you do – they buy why you do it.” In order to be successful, we knew this campaign needed to reach the heart of why a community with great schools is a great community. What better way to share the authentic voice of the campaign than with real D11 kids.

Capturing our future​

Together with photographer Joel Strayer, we collected images and stories of students from GLOBE Charter School, West Middle School and Mitchell High School, along with Palmer High School’s graduation ceremony. We were able to use information like names, graduation year and quotes to personalize campaign materials.

The mouths of babes

“Math is my favorite subject because we get to count and learn harder things every day and how numbers work together. I like that I get to learn new subjects every day and have fun while learning.”

– Evan, age 10

Flexible branding system

This campaign – along with the Friends of D11 brand – needed to hit the ground, running. We developed a flexible branding system with room to grow, allowing design elements to evolve as the campaign and marketing materials evolved.

Extending the brand to video​

Do you know what a mill levy is – because we didn’t. And neither do many voters. In partnership with Prospect Arts‘ animation team, we designed a custom-illustrated video explaining what a mill levy is and how great an impact it would have on the students of D11.

End result

The campaign

The campaign extended from posters and yard signs to a website, billboards and mock detention slips – all featuring real D11 kids. On November 7th, 2017, our D11 voters chose kids.

The results

“The Design Rangers have been integral to the success of this campaign. They listened to our vision and wholeheartedly stood behind our mission to support the students in D11. The student-centered approach they took felt authentic and our audience was able to really see how our entire community is connected. They stayed nimble throughout the campaign, developing assets in just a few days while still putting time and thoughtfulness into every piece.”

– Anthony Carlson

Campaign Manager

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