Bringing Sunlight to Michigan Politics

Voters for Transparency & Term Limits

In November 2022 Michigan voters voted overwhelmingly to pass Proposition 1, creating the state’s first ever financial disclosure requirement for elected officials and strengthening term limits.

Our initial polling showed the ballot language strongly resonated across voter groups, but during a busy midterm cycle in a battleground state, we knew a ballot initiative was vulnerable to being forgotten. Our objective was to break through the onslaught of rote, often negative advertising and educate our viewers with memorable, standout creative.

We shot two ads for this campaign: “Lisa” and “Cheers to That.” Though different, the common thread was that neither felt “political.” Wary of falling in with the mid-cycle mix, we sought to make funny, relatable, eye-catching creative that would stand out from typical political ads.

A Relatable Face Battling Bureaucracy

We filmed our first ad, “Lisa,” in suburban Detroit with an actor who portrayed a typical Michigan voter battling government bureaucracy to get more information on her elected officials' finances. She calls, she researches, she writes, but to no avail. Only when Proposition 1 drops into her lap (literally!) does she find a solution. Great writing, beautiful set design, sharp cinematography, and spot-on acting coalesced to create a slick, engaging opening salvo to the campaign.

Tweet from Lisa
Detroit News Logo

Proposal 1: Michigan voters pass term limits, financial disclosure reform measure

“Michigan voters overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment on Tuesday that would require state lawmakers to disclose some information about their personal finances and relax legislative term limits.”

We turned to a Detroit-area bar to film our second ad, “Cheers to That.” We begin with a group of friends remarking on Michigan's lack of financial disclosure laws. Dismayed at their reality, the bartender chimes in to tell them there’s a solution: Proposition 1. By placing our viewers in a familiar and everyday setting, we disarm them from thinking this is just another political ad. And as opposed to using a typical voiceover to carry our message, the friendly bartender does it for us. Ultimately, enough voters saw themselves in Lisa and in our bar-goers, and the measure passed resoundingly.

Bridge Michigan logo

Michigan Proposals 1 and 2 passed handily by voters Tuesday

“Michigan voters handily approved ballot measures Tuesday that changed the state's term-limits law, required financial disclosure of public officials and allowed early in-person voting. Proposal 1, which changed Michigan term-limit laws and imposes financial disclosure requirements on public officials, had 65.5 percent of the votes in favor, with more than three-quarters of statewide votes counted.”

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