Illinois Policy Institute

Pain in the Gas

The challenge

Illinois lawmakers, led by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, doubled Illinois’ gas tax.

The solution

Use petitions and magnet giveaways to turn the energy on this hot-button
issue into exponential growth for our client’s community.

The result

We created a multi-channel “Pain in the Gas” campaign that saw more
than 50,000 people sign up for car magnets and more than 125,000
petition signatures.

Illinois lawmakers backed by Gov. Pritzker, doubled Illinois’ gas tax from $0.19 to $0.38 per gallon in 2019. The new law also ties the state’s gas tax to inflation, meaning it will automatically rise in future years without lawmakers facing any constituent backlash. This was part of 19 taxes or fees that were proposed or enacted that year.


  • Reed
  • Telly
  • Marcom

We had been leading our client’s efforts to build a private Facebook activist community, the Lincoln Lobby, for some time. Realizing the Gas Tax had struck a chord, we recognized the opportunity to activate them on this issue.

We quickly created a branded “Pain in the Gas” campaign, featuring a petition drive to grow their email list and manufactured car magnets to collect home addresses.


The Result: Problem Solved

With the immediate organic popularity of the magnets in the Lincoln Lobby, we expanded the campaign and ultimately earned more than 50,000 signups for car magnets (including full address) and 125,000 petition signatures.


More Work

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