Best Practice from Farm
Our task was to persuade the under registered groups in the population (eg students 16-24, young black africans and recent home movers) that registration is simple but yet important and also to get them to register to vote.
Research revealed that around half of those not registered did so for practical reasons, with the remainder thinking that voting is pointless. Pretty much all felt the whole process too trivial to bother to think about. Unfortunately there is little that can be done through communications in the short-term to address political disenfranchisement.
Instead through research and challenging the client’s preconceptions of what the campaign should deliver, our solution was to make not registering feel like the silly option – to make them see that the point of voting is simply to make a point – not change the world.
We changed the EC’s voice from ‘preachy government’ to ‘mate in the know’. Instead of talking about civic duty, we gave people a realistic reason for being registered, (you
might just want to vote!) and reduced the barriers for them to do so.
A TV, press, radio, ambient and outdoor campaign may seem a little indulgent for a campaign targeting a relatively small percentage of the population. However, the very fact that they weren’t registered ruled out more direct communication methods. In addition, the chosen media allowed us to use humour to great effect - an important means of connecting with this audience.
The campaigns have generated a response that has exceeded all expectations. In the first two weeks of the campaign over 30,000 forms were downloaded with a 60% conversion rate.
Overall web visits exceeded those received in the same period prior to the last general election, and the call centre struggled to cope, receiving over 1,000 calls per day and had to draft in additional staff.
According to the COI Artemis programme, the campaign has been the best performing government campaign on a cost per response basis and our TV commercial even ended up on YouTube!
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