Case Study: Jo Ann Hardesty

Jo Ann Hardesty had a strong track record for social justice: She’d been president of the OR NAACP, a state legislator, and held a laundry list progressive board member seats. A person of her caliber was needed in Portland. When she decided to run for City Council in 2018, Softbox wanted to help her get there.

Her campaign partnered with Softbox, who had been her longtime supporters. Our challenge wasn’t in demonstrating her capabilities (she had that covered).  It was determining which accomplishments to highlight, and finding who it resonated with.

The Work:
The Softbox team combed through Hardesty’s diverse record of accomplishments and determined which issues mattered most for Portlanders. We leaned hard on her work with the houseless population, teachers, and police reform – harder than most other candidates would. We felt the bold approach matched Hardesty’s charisma. Using a sophisticated targeting strategy, each video we produced appealed to a different set of voters.

It wasn’t a “safe” campaign. But it was real, and it worked.

The Results:
Hardesty won the race, and not by a slight margin (she garnered 46.5% of the vote in the primary alone, almost eliminating the need for a runoff). More importantly, Portland had elected its first woman of color to its City Council.

ClientJo Ann HardestyServicesconcept development, strategy, documentary production, editing, color correction

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