Case Studies» GOP War on Women Campaign

Responding to an unprecedented number of verbal attacks on women’s rights by the GOP, Art Not War assembled some of the most egregious quotes and turned them back at the assailants, including Presidential nominee Mitt Romney. This series of simple, direct-address pieces became one of MoveOn’s most controversial and effective campaigns of 2012 wanted a series of ads bringing media and public attention to the GOP’s pattern of initiating Federal and state legislatures restricting women’s rights, especially with regard to reproductive rights. Ultimately, they wanted to tie Mitt Romney to this pattern, targeting him for acquiescing to far right elements to secure the Presidential nomination.

For the first ad of the series, Art Not War cast a diverse group of real women—all MoveOn members—and had them repeat the most egregious misogynistic quotes from prominent members of the GOP. Our second ad featured the same women “congratulating” Mitt Romney for acquiescing to radical-right forces in the GOP to secure the nomination. The ultimate goal: to tie the GOP’s anti-woman agenda to Mitt Romney and let the candidate know that if he continued to participate in the GOP’s misogynistic agenda, he’d pay the price on election day.

The GOP War on Women ads garnered more than three million dollars in earned media from more than 40 TV and newspaper stories. The videos were viewed more than half a million times on YouTube, earning 149 million web impressions overall–and the series won a Gold Pollie as one of the best TV campaigns of 2012.

Even Fox News analyst Margaret Hoover had to admit on the O’Reilly Factor that, “as a Republican, while I don’t like [the first piece in the “War on Women” series], I think it is a hard hitting and will-be-highly-effective ad.” Ultimately the campaign sparked a national conversation that ended with Mitt Romney losing the vote of single women and, ultimately, the election.