How do you raise awareness for a library in danger of closing? By throwing a book burning party of course!
The town library in Troy, Michigan needed a miniscule 0.7% tax increase to pass in order to keep operating. But faced with a highly-organized anti-tax group and a town largely unaware of the issue, the library needed to take drastic measures to get attention. The vote on whether to pass the 0.7% tax increase was set to take place on August 2nd, and if it failed then the library would be forced to close on August 5th.
Enter the (fictional) group Safeguarding American Families (SAFe). Under the guise of SAFe, the library put signs all over the city promoting a Book Burning Party on August 5th. The signs quickly sparked outrage, with people going to SAFe’s Facebook page in drove to protest the “disgusting” party and to vote YES to save the library. The campaign drew local, national and even international attention before it was revealed to be a hoax. In the end, 324% more voters than expected came out to the polls, with an overwhelming majority voting yes to save the library.
Case study video here.