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The best campaigns encouraging US voters to head to the polls

The Drum 29 Sep 2020 12:00
Patagonia's ‘Vote the Assholes Out’ campaign

With polling day on the horizon and presidential debates just around the corner, The Drum takes a look at the best get-out-the-vote campaigns created by brands this election year.

In an election year bolstered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the subsequent economic recession, and the ongoing fight against racial injustice – brands are taking it upon themselves to use their influence to get the US voting on 3 November.

Past election statistics have shown than many Americans don't make use of their vote, particularly the younger generations. In the 2016 presidential elections, less than half of 18-29 year olds didn’t vote.

Joining forces from across the sectors, brands in the technology, retail and entertainment realms are hoping to encourage eligible voters to make their voices heard in the upcoming US midterm elections.

Strategies vary from brands creating everything from voting merchandise, to campaigns encouraging the general public to go out and vote. Some brands are also paying their own employees to work at the polls, while others are giving them time off to go and cast their vote.

Patagonia: ‘Vote the Assholes Out’

‘Vote the Assholes Out‘ was confirmed by Patagonia spokesperson on Twitter as a legitimate campaign in line with the brand's historic political and environmental activism.

“Remember, vote the assholes out — all of those politicians who don't believe we should do anything about climate change,” wrote Chouinard in a blog post for the 1% for the Planet community at the start of the pandemic. “Vote for the planet and against those who would do nothing. We have the power and now is the time to use it.”

In other brand news, Pernod Ricard USA have announced that all employees will receive paid time off on Tuesday 3 November to vote in the upcoming election.

In addition to time off, Pernod Ricard’s flagship premium vodka brand, Absolut, is launching a non-partisan, integrated ’Drink Responsibly. #VoteResponsibly’ campaign which delivers the message: ’Vote First, Drink Second.’

Another brand that is encouraging its employees as well as its customers to participate in the vote, is exercise brand Under Armour.

At the helm of this first-time initiative is Under Armour president and chef executive Patrik Frisk. This election marks the first time he has voted in the US since becoming a citizen – his experience navigating the political system here prompted him to leverage the company he leads and what it stands for to make voting easier for everyone.

Hoping to represent the Latinx voting demographic, Latina mothers are taking over social media pinky promising their kids they’ll ’#votelikeamadre’ on 3 November to fight climate change.

Further celebrity endorsement comes from HBO and Rock the Vote, which are kicking off a new partnership that encourages voters to highlight the issues that have most affected their daily lives, families and communities.

ViacomCBS, in partnership with the Ad Council, launched ’Vote For Your Life’, a mass voter registration, early voting, and get-out-the-vote campaign crafted to respond to the specific challenges of the upcoming 2020 election season.

This campaign marks Reddit’s first-ever brand marketing campaign and falls under its wider voter engagement initiative, ‘Up The Vote.‘ The creative draws parallels between engagement with content on Reddit and participation in real-life elections.

The new campaign urges Reddit’s 130,000+ active communities and the population at large to bring this same passion to voting in real life, and unite around a shared effort to shape our futures.

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PatagoniaYvon ChouinardTrump administrationPernod Ricard USAPernod Ricard North America
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