By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com September 05 2012 1:04 PM ET
Leaders in social media and LGBT advocacy announced the launch Wednesday of The Four 2012, a new social media campaign aimed at generating online engagement around the four ballot measures under consideration in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington this November.
The Four 2012 (TheFour2012.com) intends to reach the young and connected, who support marriage equality in large numbers according to polling, with “cutting-edge and highly sharable social media content” on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Google Plus (TheFour2012) from now through Election Day. Founders of the campaign include Andre Banks of AllOut.org, Jeremy Heimans of Purpose, Ryan Davis of Blue State Digital, and Brian Ellner, formerly with the Human Rights Campaign in New York.
“It’s Facebook and Twitter meets Rock the Vote for marriage equality,” said Ellner in a news release. “We want to energize young pro-equality voters in the Google age.”
The campaign asks artists, videographers, writers, and others to submit original short videos, short stories, and graphic art to the site. Content from national and state coalition partners, including the four state coalition groups and national organizations such as Freedom to Marry and the Human Rights Campaign, will also be featured on the site, with new content daily.
“The idea behind The Four is to promote marriage equality in the most creative and exciting ways and to remind supporters through social media sharing -- especially young people -- to get out and vote,” said Heimans.
The launch includes an original video entitled “Momentum” featuring the hit song “We Are Young” from the indie-pop group Fun. The campaign has a budget of $200,000 and hopes to raise additional money for the four state campaigns. Funding for TheFour2012 was provided by Jason Goldberg, founder of Fab, and other supporters, according to the campaign.
“The concept is to allow easy sharing and to syndicate this material over popular social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Tumbler, and Pinterest,” said Davis. “We will also use smart paid media to promote our most popular posts, create a network of influencers to amplify the content and produce new content from some of the hottest Internet stars.”
This November 6, Maine will vote on whether to legalize same-sex marriage, while Maryland and Washington voters will decide whether to retain new marriage equality laws, and Minnesota will vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. While polling appears to lean in marriage equality advocates’ favor in each of the contests, advocates have never won a statewide ballot measure and have made it a top priority to break that long losing streak this year.
“We want to extend and expand the marriage equality brand by adding excitement and edge – to galvanize young base voters to take action, and to vote,” said Banks.
Watch the launch video for The Four 2012.