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Combating Voter Apathy
The Assignment: Find a new approach to get people to the polls.
The Problem: Many young voters are too apathetic to get out and vote.
The Problem Redefined: Young voters are overlooking the most influential races - local elections.
The Strategy: Rebrand the mayor's office.
Make it a visible and purposeful part of a voter's world.
The Situation: The local government has more influence over our day-to-day lives than the federal government, but we vote the opposite way; voter turnout is around sixty percent for presidential races and only twenty percent for local elections. Also, voting behavior trickles up, not down. Voters who turn out for local elections are more likely to vote in primaries, midterm, and presidential races.
The Solution: Mayors can be the exception to Millennials' apathy with the government. The office demands a leader who acts rather than promises. Pragmatism over politics is favored because a mayor must clean up the streets, fill the potholes, and address homelessness. Mayors are kind of a big deal. They are doing far more than opening supermarkets and kissing babies. Driven by the belief that change happens on the small level, many mayors are successfully conquering the big stuff - reducing obesity, curbing greenhouse gas emissions, and refining gun laws.
The Creative Concept: The Mayor is your local President.
Brand Management - Kate Stewart
Strategy - Michelle Spigner, Prateek Patnaik
Copywriter - Sean O'Connor
Art Direction - Rachel Sheeran
My Role: What is the current perception of Mayors, and what was the past perception? What would "rebranding" a public office even look like? I helped with research as well as strategy.
Mayors are capable of making significant changes in cities, but we needed to overcome some common misconceptions. Mayors have the potential to be the political hope for our apathetic voters. But, they need a new image that's driven less by satirical cartoons and focused more on what they are actually accomplishing.
We created a website where visitors could not only learn about what mayors do, but also see the change the mayor is making in their city.
We started with Philadelphia, a city with a history of political change and a significant Millennial population, but poor voter turnout.
If you would like to see the actual website, click here.
We wanted our communication to be hard to ignore. So, we would join existing conversations such as #thanksObama.
By inserting ourselves into these discussions, we could disrupt Millennials' view of who can make a change in their city, and motivate them to stop grumbling and begin requesting the change they want to see.
Direct Mail & Outdoor
We would utilize direct mail welcome flyers and outdoor ads to attack the top excuses people make for not making it to the polls.
Users could snap a photo of what they want to be changed in their city from a pothole to the
reduction of homelessness and send it to @PresidentNextDoor.
Then, we would track how their requests were addressed by the mayor, so users could see the collective change
and feel that their government was listening and responding.
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