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Keep the Money in Nebraska Committee

Nebraska Non-Candidate Issue Advertising Campaign

Blue Earth Marketing was commissioned to implement a state-wide marketing campaign informing/educating Nebraskans about (3) major initiatives on the November 2020 ballot. Initiatives 429, 430 and 431 would amend the states constitution to allow games of chance at the (6) horse racing tracks in the state, create a regulatory body to govern and license Nebraska casinos, and create a new revenue stream to fund the Nebraska property tax relief program. The campaign goal was to create positive market awareness of all (3) initiatives and the importance of voting “For” all (3) initiatives.


While creating messaging, creative and determining appropriate advertising vehicles is challenging enough, our client faced major opposition from two large non-profit organizations that were being funded by in-state politicians and out-of-state special interest groups. Five weeks prior to the general election, the opposition launched a fierce smear campaign primarily through direct mail, television, radio and social media trying to discredit and spread fear if Nebraskans voted “For” all (3) initiatives. The smear campaign was completely misleading and not based on facts regarding initiatives 429, 430 and 431.

Strategy/Opposition Strategy:

To better understand support of all (3) initiatives, Blue Earth Marketing conducted polling of likely Nebraska voters to help determine over-all messaging. Polls indicated favorable support for all (3) initiatives with the number one key issue with likely voters being property tax relief. Polling information was crucial to over-all messaging as it provided a road map for creative moving forward. Initial messaging strategy was crafted around voting “For” all 3 measures will significantly reduce Nebraska property tax. Additionally, a key messaging strategy was educating voters on the fact that Nebraskans are already spending over $400 million a year at casinos in surrounding states, which formed the campaign slogan/committee name: Keep the money in Nebraska. This simple messaging was easy for Nebraska voters to understand and support which played a key role in all (3) initiatives passing overwhelmingly.

Our initial research indicated a strong opposition from special interest groups regarding all (3) initiatives. To what degree at the beginning of the campaign was yet to be seen but during the first couple of weeks into the “roll-out” campaign it became very clear what our client was up against. Blue Earth Marketing was prepared for a negative campaign by the opposition and shifted messaging to address the negative and fear-based tactics rolled out by the opposition. We recommended to our client not to abandon the original positive messaging of property tax relief and keeping the money in Nebraska but to supplement a campaign counter-attacking the opposition’s false advertising.


Initiatives 429, 430 & 431 overwhelmingly passed with an average of 65% voting “For” all (3) measures. While only needing 51% voting for all (3), the 65% is significant due to the negative, misleading advertising the agency’s client was battling. Additionally, research through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which requires all media outlets to publish political advertising dollars spent, revealed the opposition had significant monetary resources available and invested throughout the state. A post-mortem conducted by the agency revealed that a significant reason for the campaign success was the counter-advertising across all mediums debunking the oppositions negative messaging and while also continuing to “hammer home” the positive impacts of Initiatives 429, 430 & 431 for the entire state of Nebraska.

Keep The Money
In Nebraska

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General Information:

New business inquiries contact:
Patrick Foley

Ho-Chunk Centre Office Address:
600 4th Street, Suite 201
Sioux City, IA 51101


Patrick Foley

Patrick has over 25 years’ experience in marketing and advertising. A Mass Communications/Marketing graduate of Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa, Patrick has spent the majority of his career with Blue Earth Marketing. Patrick started in the TV/Radio broadcast industry as a commercial writer-news producer for KCAU-ABC affiliate in Sioux City, Iowa; eventually moving into a business development role as a Senior Account Manager. In 2000, Patrick was recruited by Waitt Media of Omaha, Nebraska to market their broadcast TV-Radio, Billboard, and internet properties to regional clients. In 2004, Patrick was recruited to help launch Blue Earth Marketing as an Account/Project Manager.

Patrick primarily account/project manages existing clients but also serves as the Business Development Director. Additionally, Patrick works with clients on developing strategic marketing plans and advertising campaigns and assists the agency with creative copywriting, media planning, media buying, video/TV/Radio production services.