Early polling revealed that Measure B, which was initiated and funded by Home Depot competitor Do It Centers, was opposed by only 43% of likely voters in Thousand Oaks. It was clear that Navigators would have to create an aggressive campaign with compelling messages to move public opinion against the initiative.
Our campaign successfully integrated known community members and organizations as “the face of the campaign.” Don’t Do It: No on Measure B, as the campaign was known, was a grassroots effort, employing a “bad for Thousand Oaks” message, enabling Home Depot to avoid what could have been seen as a battle between two large companies. The campaign secured opposition to Measure B by nearly every community organization and several prominent leaders in Thousand Oaks, including both of the local newspapers, the County Sheriff, the local PTA Council, the Chamber of Commerce, the teacher’s union, the School Board and a majority of the local City Council.
No on Measure B integrated a robust direct mail program supported by paid television and newspaper advertising, a coordinated grassroots letter to the editor and op-ed program, a continuous paid telephone canvass operation, absentee ballot program and an intensive get-out-the-vote operation during the last three days of the election.
On Election Day, Measure B was soundly defeated by over 13 percent, 56.5 percent to 43.5 percent. representing the first time that the ballot box tactics of the Do It Centers proved unsuccessful at stopping a competitor’s project.
At the end of the campaign, Navigators delivered a decisive victory for Home Depot, without tarnishing its positive brand image, and at a cost of 30 percent less than what the company anticipated spending.