Marketing Secrets From An Ardent Prohibitionist


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It’s hard to believe now but the United States of America––the only country to put the words “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as its founding slogan––actually managed to get a constitutional amendment passed that banned alcohol for close to 15 years from 1919 to 1933.
The decision took millions of Americans by surprise. But for one group, it was the culmination of a political plan that was three decades in the making.
The Anti-Saloon League (ASL) was created in 1893 with the mission of banning the selling and drinking of alcohol nationwide. And while it wasn’t the first activist organization to call for national prohibition, its founder, Reverend Howard Hyde Russell, discovered that the reason why the movement had failed was because no organization was solely dedicated to the cause by itself.
The ASL started its own publishing company in 1909 next to its headquarters in Westerville, Ohio that would soon produce so much marketing material that it would make the League into a media empire (they produced and mailed over 40 tons of promotional materials PER MONTH, which made Westerville the smallest town to have a first-class post office in the country).
The league’s campaign literature ranged from cartoons and newspapers, to anti-alcohol encyclopedias, fliers, print advertisements, and even stories and songs celebrating sobriety!
Here are the 3 irresistible marketing principles that ran through all the League’s messaging always had three key persuasion principles that changed America (for the worse), and can be used in any industry selling any product, service, cause, or whatever.
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