Today marks the deadline to register to vote for the EUreferendum. Have Stronger In and Brexit managed to persuade the younger generation to engage with the debate and vote? Well we won’t fully find out till voting starts on the 23rd but if the awful ads from both groups are anything to go by, then the answer is probably no. Unfortunately we could see a lower percentage of voters than the shockingly low turnout of 40% that the general election see’s.
Cameron and the rest of the Stronger In contingent need the youths to hit the ballot box; Brexit voters are an older demographic, but one thing is certain: the majority of their supporters will vote. In a recent piece for Campaign Joe our MD discusses the #cringin efforts of the Stronger In party and how they completely failed to resonate with a younger demographic.
Joe says, ‘what is needed to engage the youth is an amazing hero piece. One that draws people in and captivates them, so you can then hit them with the heartbeat content to get the younger peeps to engage and get to the ballot box.’
What was instead produced was a far cry from being an amazing hero piece, #votin video left the whole office #cringin. Joe’s review of the video was very #damin, he said ‘Do we really think that today’s youth are THIS self-obsessed? That all they care about is the adrenaline-fuelled activities portrayed? #Trivialisin the issue like this is frankly offensive to the intelligence of the under 35’s generation. It’s a total misfire and such a shame’.
If Stronger In can take any comfort from their failings it’s they haven’t been the first – and certainly won’t be the last – to try, fail and look embarrassing at reaching beyond home-owners, pensioners and xenophobes. A few examples spring to mind. Remember when William Hague wore a baseball cap on his bowling ball cranium to Notting Hill Carnival? Or when we saw Neil Kinnock grace the front cover of NME like an even seedier Phil Collins? Both very successful in further distancing themselves. However the win goes to Ben Carson, the American presidential candidate, after he did a rap radio ad.
The content produced by the Stronger In campaign has been so poor that people have taken it into their own hands. One such creative trio created the Goat Party gif that deceives Facebook users into innocently clicking on what they believe to be a cute goat video. Instead it takes you to a landing page with the words- ‘if you have a enough time to watch goat videos you have a enough time to register to vote’. This simple idea is ominously better than Stronger In efforts, it’s funny, witty and is bang on point with the zeitgeist. Goat videos are some of the most watched and shared videos on Facebook at the moment.
The goat party gif is very much in line with the elements Joe believes are essential to producing successful viral ads. ‘To create content that captivates the imagination and engages people’s emotional core. There isn’t an exact recipe for a successful viral video but they do need storytelling, great creative and proper investment in content and strategy. They need to tap into the zeitgeist if they want to hold their head high’, Joe says.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to emotions. At Don’t Panic we have created films that have covered the whole spectrum. For example in “Show me Yours” we secretly filmed comedian Olivia Lee use a pretend ‘data capture device’ to access personal information contained in people’s phones and laptops to raise awareness against the investigatory bill, the Snoopers Charter.
It’s a balancing act to use humour for such topics of debate. It’s easy to cross the line, jeopardise the integrity and compromise the detail. It is a risk, and one the, Stronger In team weren’t willing to take. A fleeting thought that was discussed in the office was maybe they Stronger In went down the route of, ‘any PR is good PR’, and deliberately developed a campaign so bad it caused debate within the press and social media. Maybe we are the idiots, having fallen for it, having been engulfed in the debate to realise their tactics. Somehow I think not.
I’d hope those of you reading this don’t need to be influenced by adverts to be persuaded to vote anyway? I might be wrong though….