Harriet Tubman: How Marketing Won the $20
Nonprofit marketers Women On 20s asserted women were worth more than twice as much as the U.S. Department of the Treasury believed. As a result on Wednesday, the department announced Harriet Tubman would grace the front of the $20 bill, replacing the likeness of President Andrew Jackson, rather than taking up half of the space on a $10.
Less than a year ago, the treasury department was going to place a woman’s portrait alongside Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, but the nonprofit said that wasn’t good enough. Women On 20s continued its campaign by gathering votes from more than 600,000 Americans about which woman’s portrait to place on U.S. currency.
“On May 12, 2015, Women On 20s presented a petition to President Obama and the treasury department informing them of the results of the election and our many endorsements,” reads the nonprofit site, “encouraging them to use their authority to make this change in time to have a new bill in circulation before the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in 2020.”
[Author’s note: There’s precedent for this. About 15 years ago, Tubman won a similar vote among women for the most influential American woman to be displayed at the now-closed Women’s Museum in Dallas. As happened in the Women On 20s vote, Americans picked Tubman over First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Another museum, the National Women's History Museum that will soon have a new building in Washington, D.C., doesn’t list Tubman as American history’s most influential woman.]
To make the case for placing a woman’s portrait on the $20, Women On 20s asserted to Obama and the treasury department that the following needed to happen:
- Commemoration of the inclusion of women in the American democracy and as full citizens in 1920 on a redesigned $20 dedicated to women’s history in this country.
- Recognition of the contributions of women to our country.
- Removal of symbols of hate, intolerance and inequality to enable equality that will bring forth the full potential of all people regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual preference or identity.
The nonprofit used everything from YouTube videos and media outreach to hashtags and grassroots campaigning to accomplish its goal.
On Wednesday, the nonprofit saw the results: Tubman on the $20 and suffragettes on the back of the $10.
“The redesigned $10 bill is expected to enter circulation by 2020, though it's unclear what the $20's timeframe is,” CNNMoney says on Wednesday.
What do you think of this campaign, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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