INTEGRATED CAMPAIGNS: The Nuisance Committee
In August 2016, Cards Against Humanity launched sales of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton “add-on” packs to its irreverent card game on the website: America Votes with Cards Against Humanity. Cards announced that at the end of the promotion, it would tally up the sales of both packs and, depending on which pack got more support, would donate the money in support of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, either directly or through its new super PAC, the Nuisance Committee.
Through an integrated public relations, social media and email marketing campaign, the Nuisance Committee worked to raise awareness about some of Trump’s most controversial positions and drove more than 700,000 views to related Committee websites.
The inspiration for the idea came out of a remarkable piece of history from the family of Cards’ co-creator Max Temkin. His grandfather, Ira Weinstein, was shot down over Germany in World War II during his 24th combat mission and was interned in POW camp Stalag Luft 1. There, Ira and other POWs banded together to form a "Nuisance Committee" to irritate their captors, forcing the Nazis to focus more resources on the camp versus the war effort.
The goal of this new committee was to launch “nuisances” during the six weeks leading up to the election in the hopes that they would influence people to vote for Clinton. The strategy was to spend a little money on advertising that was so clever that it would earn media coverage — and that’s exactly what happened. The media spread the messages further at little expense to the committee, which had been seeded with about $150,000 from pack sales. This tactic relied heavily on the committee coming up with brilliant, creative assets and effective public relations.
Melissa Harris of M. Harris & Co. oversaw press strategy and day-to-day operations of the committee. The work won her multiple awards, including a Publicity Club of Chicago Golden Trumpet.