What do you think of when you hear the phrase, “pro-life movement”? The March for Life? Sidewalk counseling, perhaps? Or maybe pressuring legislators to vote a certain way? What about Google ads? While it may sound unconventional, Heroic Media, a Texas-based pro-life organization, is harnessing the power of internet marketing to go head-to-head with Planned Parenthood—and they’re delivering impressive results.
When Brett Attebery, Heroic Media’s executive vice president of marketing and chief operating officer, joined the team five years ago, he knew the organization would need to change its strategy of reaching abortion-minded women. He decided to completely ditch Heroic Media’s television, billboard, magazine, and other forms of traditional marketing to go all in on Google ads.
“The one thing that stood out about the internet marketing piece was that we could track everything,” he told Townhall. “We knew when a woman did a search on Google for information on abortion—so she’s abortion minded, we could track how our ads redirected her away from Planned Parenthood, connecting her instead to a very effective pro-life pregnancy help center”—each of which is carefully vetted and trained by Heroic Media staff. Once a woman connects with the center, the hope is that she comes in for an appointment where she’ll have an ultrasound, receive counseling, and change her mind about abortion.
Heroic Media dubbed the process OAASYS (on demand alternatives to abortion system), which is a tool available to all pro-lifers who’d like to sponsor advertisements as a way to stand up to Planned Parenthood. After all, the abortion giant is running ads round the clock in every Google search made on abortion across the country.
“It’s a drop in the bucket for them,” Attebery explained, noting they’ve grown accustom to being the only ad that appears in searches on abortion. “We’re still not at the point where we can say one of our ads appear next to one of Planned Parenthood’s ads for every search, but every year, through the generosity of our benefactors, we are getting closer and closer.”
Part of Attebery’s inspiration for the tool were the many pro-lifers he encountered who wanted to stand up to Planned Parenthood and save babies’ lives, but, for personal reasons, did not want to take part in public advocacy efforts against abortion.
Realizing this vision involved redirecting Heroic Media away from largely being a media agency running Internet ads for pregnancy help centers to one that empowered pro-lifers to make a direct and meaningful impact.
Through OAASYS, pro-lifers can actually see the results their donations helped achieve. In 2019 alone, for example, Heroic Media’s benefactors helped save 735 babies from abortion—a number that’s increasing each year.
At this year’s National Prayer Luncheon for Life, benefactors will have the chance to hear from Danielle Wind, whose baby girl Ridley is alive today because of Heroic Media’s ads directing her to a partnered pregnancy help center.
“[P]lease, keep doing what you’re doing,” she urged supporters of Heroic Media in an interview with Attebery, “because it is life-changing, and it does save a life! I’m a prime example of that!”
Wind believes many women are uneducated about pro-life issues and the resources available to them in an unexpected pregnancy—and she’s right.
According to Attebery, Planned Parenthood has been so effective in their marketing over the years that many women don’t even need to Google what to do when they want an abortion—they just go to their nearest clinic. “We are missing some of these women because research shows about half of women in the U.S. don’t even know what a pregnancy help center is,” he explained.
In 2017, Heroic Media decided to repurpose its 30-second television commercials for the internet to simply inform young women that pregnancy help centers exist.
“If these women don’t know about pregnancy help centers before they have an unexpected pregnancy they won’t go when they face an unexpected pregnancy,” he said.
That type of branding will take a lot of repetition over many years to accomplish, but Attebery sounded optimistic. “We got it started, it’s running, it’s working, and it’s shown progress,” he noted.
But much more could be accomplished if word got out about what Attebery calls the "demand side" of the pro-life movement.
"Pregnancy help centers' primary purpose is to compete against Planned Parenthood for clients. Specifically for them not to get an abortion. Many pro-lifers are aware of advocacy and laws, but not as familiar with how the demand side works," he said. "Yes, of course, do all the advocacy stuff, that’s important, but also get involved in the demand side of the business—helping pregnancy help centers become more competitive in their daily battles against Planned Parenthood on the frontlines for their clients."
Heroic Media is holdings its National Prayer Luncheon for Life on Friday, March 6, in Dallas at 12 p.m., which is the same day, same time, and same city as Planned Parenthood's annual awards luncheon.
"We started doing that five years ago to really motivate pro-lifers," Attebery said. "We're just countering to say, hey, if they're going to raise money to kill babies, we're going to raise money to save babies."
Pro-lifers can livestream the event, which will feature film producer Jason Jones, whose latest project, "Divided Hearts of America: The Truth About Abortion in America," is a documentary featuring NFL star, author and activist Benjamin Watson.
For more information on Heroic Media's strategy see the helpful infographic below:
This infographic is brought to you by HeroicMedia.org