Res Publica Group created LOL Illinois to pressure Illinois’ elected leaders to pass a responsible, balanced budget after a more than two-year impasse. Faced with an environment where neither side was willing to listen to or hear solutions, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago was looking for a creative way to push Springfield to act. In just over three months, more than four million people have been reached on Facebook and over 40,000 letters have been sent to the Governor, Speaker of the House, Senate President and local legislators demanding action on a budget.
LOLIllinois
The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, a private, not-for-profit civic organization has engaged Res Publica Group on a number of high-profile initiatives over the years – including O’Hare Expansion and Pension Reform. After more than two years without a state budget, they were looking for a creative way to pressure leadership to act on a budget.

LOL Illinois is the acronym for “laugh out loud” and also stands for Land of Lincoln. It emphasizes what many in the State and around the country have noted, that Illinois has become a joke and a laughingstock for its inability to solve the budget crisis. To set the tone, we rolled out a teaser campaign with nothing but “LOL” showing up on strategically placed billboards throughout the State. To build awareness once the campaign was in motion, we identified high-traffic areas for traditional out-of-home advertising and used unconventional applications such as floor decals to ensure maximum visibility for the message, created printed and distributed a toolkit to organizations throughout Illinois and facilitated numerous media interviews.

We created a dynamic website where citizens could engage directly with the campaign, see the impact through data and stories and contact legislators. We leveraged Facebook as the main digital platform for citizens to express their frustrations and share stories of how the impasse has impacted them.

In three months, LOL Illinois reached over four million people on Facebook and yielded more than 40,000 letters sent to the Governor, Speaker of the House, Senate President and local legislators demanding action on a budget. The campaign and its tagline, “not having a budget is not a laughing matter,” has captured the attention of both local and national media outlets and placed the Civic Committee at the forefront of the budget conversation.