The voter registration group Rock the Vote is going where the kids are - mobile and social networks. Easy scanned links on t-shirts may provide motivation for Millennials to visit polls in November.
The Millennial generation is diverse and young, and according to Rock the Vote, they are activated - “civically engaged in our communities, passionate about issues, and politically aware.” But the organization that focuses on motivating young people to register and visit the voting booth on the big day has made it even easier for them to do so - they can now use their mobile phones. Rock the Vote paired with QR code scanner and shopping app RedLaser, sustainable apparel label Threads 4 Thought, and social marketing platform Promojam to create a campaign for the 2012 election that encourages this generation to connect and promote their message.
The mobile strategy is supported by targeted messages from celebrities
Political organizations are not the only ones that strive to promote themselves or their message to young adults - brands have long sought after this coveted demographic. Rock the Vote hopes to win their attention with tailored message delivered by pop culture personalities. In the opening line of the Scan to Vote site’s intro video, Perez Hilton explains that more people in the US check Facebook or go to the Super Bowl than vote. The next three minutes is a short history of how voting developed from a benefit for the very privileged few to a hard-won right for the rest of Americans - most recently for citizens aged 18 to 21. This story of voting access and the power it gives young people over issues relevant to them is delivered by Hilton, John Legend and others.
Youth voting may improve with easier registration and familiar media channels
Rock the Vote rocked social media and microtargeting during the last presidential election, but what is new is their mobile integration. Increases in young voter turnout has been building since the 2004 election, and continued in 2008. So Rock the Vote is lowering the hurdles at the tech that youth use the most. QR codes drive the process, and people can purchase t-shirts with the code on them. Only ten states allow online voter registration, but the codes provide quick access to the campaign via familiar channels - Web, mobile and social networks. The 18-29 year old population is about 44 million, so spreading the word among youth has huge potential.