How Live Action Used Hollywood and TV Streaming To Make Liberals More Pro-life

Progressive activists run the gambit on Hollywood, and they know it. When it comes to hot-button issues like abortion, they are quick to weaponize their massive microphones to turn everything they touch into a rallying cry against the ‘poor, illiterate, and strung-out. 


Enter Live Action. In the wake of Supreme Court news surrounding Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a potentially landmark case that has the opportunity to overturn Roe v Wade, Live Action decided that enough was enough. Live Action is one of the nation’s leading pro-life organizations, and their mission is to craft powerful and relatable messages to change hearts and minds on abortion.


In the leadup to Dobbs, Live Action partnered with Direct Persuasion to craft a data-driven campaign that would promote their 2363 campaign (named to represent the number of children that are killed daily by abortion) to the most pro-abortion corners of America.  The goal of this campaign was to use targeted media to shed light on the ghoulish nature of abortion and cast a poignant depiction of the procedure to an audience that is otherwise overlooked by pro-life advertisers. The full version of the ad is extremely powerful and everyone should watch it.


While planning this campaign, Live Action and Direct Persuasion decided to focus on driving awareness and ad recall for the 2363 video to a hostile audience, rather than “vanity” digital metrics like ad clicks and impressions.  To do this, we decided to pull in the KAG Score as our primary KPI.


For anyone new to Direct Persuasion’s work, the KAG Score (short for “Keep Ads Great”) is a proprietary metric that was developed during our work on the Trump campaign to quantify performance on awareness/recall campaigns. It is a unifying metric used to compare performance across extremely different platforms (Facebook vs Google Search vs Display ads, for instance).


Since high-impact advertising placements index powerfully for the KAG Score, Live Action invested a significant piece of the campaign budget into Connected TV placements (think streaming services like Hulu, Pluto, Roku, or YouTube TV). Ads on these platforms are hard to miss – you can’t skip them, and they’re almost always played sound-on in the living room. As an added benefit, results are targetable (you can use technology to find your audience), highly-measurable, and streaming platforms index strongly for young progressive voters – Live Action’s target audience.


On top of optimizing for quality placements, we partnered with MiQ to help us find a way to measure the persuasiveness of Live Action’s ads. MiQ, in concert with Lucid, worked to survey users before and after exposure to ads. This gave us a way to back up the results we saw in the KAG Score with real-world data.


Live Action’s target users were GenZ to Millennial adults (18-44) in Los Angeles, DC, and New York City. Despite the fact that Q4 2021 saw sky-high advertising prices and record spending, we worked with an arsenal of our in-house tools to get Live Action favorable rates among some of the most competitive streaming placements. 


As Live Action’s campaign progressed, we began to see results pour in. While a segment of our target audience turned to Twitter to vent their rage to Hollywood for allowing us to run ads on their streaming content, we saw a noticeable uptick in our KAG Metric performance. An uptick that was qualified by data showing that users exposed to Live Action’s streaming ads were 5% more likely to recall 2363 after advertising exposure. 


On top of boosting recall, Live Action worked with Direct Persuasion to craft, in real time, results-driven creative. As the 2363 campaign progressed, iterations began to hone in on the most powerful messaging possible. By the end of the 2363 campaign in December, Live Action’s streaming TV creatives saw a 13.3% lift in advocacy. In other words, 13.3% of people who were exposed to an iteration of Live Action’s ads were persuaded to “care about” the right to life cause.


Given that Live Action reached well over 3 million people on TV streaming services alone, that means that shows like The Real Housewives, 90 Day Fiancé, and Rachel Maddow contributed to memorably exposing hundreds of thousands of individuals to Live Action’s message. On top of that, hundreds of thousands more were persuaded to “care about” the right to life cause.


In advertising, Q4 is marked by Black Friday, Christmas, and various U.S. elections. Viewers are bombarded with ads demanding attention and action. Live Action, together with Direct Persuasion, found a way to use Hollywood’s favorite medium to reach the people that disagree with them the most. By pairing smart, real time data with connected TV buying tools, we cut through the holiday noise by focusing on a results-driven ad buy. And in the end, found a way to change the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands.

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