This year, we received a Silver ADDY Award for our work with the Hammond Downtown Development District. The American Advertising Federation recognizes some of the most outstanding creative work produced by agencies in Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas. Working with the DDD to pass this historic millage was a joy for our team, and we’re all thrilled to receive this recognition for our hard work.
Last year, The Hammond Downtown Development District was up for a millage renewal. The millage provides the DDD’s primary funding, which allows them to distribute grants for local small businesses, run the Hammond Farmers Market, organize events like Hot August Night and Starry November Night, and much more. When the DDD started in 1984, they hit the ground running and quickly reduced the number of vacant buildings in the District by an astounding 87%. But if the 2021 millage renewal failed to pass, the DDD couldn’t continue to operate.
When the DDD’s leadership team, Chelsea Tallo Little and Kati Lebreton, asked us to partner with them, we were all in.
Our team started off with a creative meeting to innovate ideas for the campaign. We wanted a campaign that represented the diversity of downtown Hammond and the ambitious initiative represented by the DDD–something that would fit seamlessly with their branding content, yet elevate their campaign to a new level.
Hammond has long used the phrase “It’s happening in Hammond.” We knew this was a good starting point for a slogan. Citizens love that Hammond, America is truly “happening”. From the recurring events and annual traditions to the emergence of new business ventures, the Downtown Development District really makes it happen.
We coined the phrase “Keep It Happening in Hammond” to tie it all together with the millage renewal. That simple play on Hammond’s slogan made it the perfect tool to connect with citizens about just what was at stake in this particular campaign.
We drew inspiration from some of Hammond’s most distinctive features to craft campaign artwork that held true to the heart of Hammond –the same area encompassed by the DDD. Our designers created emblems resembling the buildings of downtown and web page dividers designed to look like the gingerbread fretwork so common to downtown rooflines. They also utilized the DDD’s signature colors, so the new campaign would fit in seamlessly with older content. Designs also featured brick patterns that called to mind our many historic buildings in Hammond, as well as squares and lines that symbolized Hammond’s streets and buildings.
With those key elements in place, we were able to create a cohesive campaign that would resonate with viewers. To reach as many voters as possible, we pushed the campaign out through a number of different platforms.
- We created a microsite with all the information about the millage–the history of the DDD, what they currently do, and why Hammond needs the continued involvement of the DDD.
- We made social media posts that shared the past successes, and more importantly, the future plans of the DDD.
- We crafted flyers and mailers to send out to voters.
- Up until Election Day, we took advantage of every opportunity to get the word out and share about why the millage renewal was crucial to our city.
The tax passed by an overwhelming margin. An incredible 90% of voters said YES to Keeping it Happening in Hammond and elected to renew the millage.
Mother Teresa once said, “It’s not about how much you do, but how much love you put into what you do that counts.”
We put a whole lot of creative energy into this campaign, and we were able to support our community while doing what we love. Now, almost a year later, our team has been recognized for our dedication and innovation with a Silver ADDY Award honoring our campaign microsite.