WASHINGTON: The AARP launched a viral video effort on October 21 to cap off a two-year voter-registration and get-out-the-vote campaign.
Featuring a young man asking a succession of people on the street who they plan to vote for president to provide “financial security and [to fix] healthcare,” the video incorporates the name of whomever the sender has entered – candidate or not – thus emphasizing AARP's point that political change comes from “you” the voter.
Drew Nannis, director of media relations for AARP's advocacy team, said outreach in support of the launch included sending the video to a number of political bloggers at outlets such as K Street Café, Talk Left, and Reuters. AARP also posted the video on its own blog, ShAARP Session, and forwarded it to its “e-activists,” of which the organization has several million, Nannis said.
“One of the problems you have in the late stages of election season is voter fatigue,” Nannis noted. “So this video was a fun way of making sure people stay involved, but also providing links to resources, such as voting guides and information on places for early voting. We first started doing outreach to the public about the election a couple of years ago – pretty much the same time that the campaigning started.”
AARP hopes that the online video, at aarpvote08.org, takes on a “life of its own” through forwarding on by recipients. The communications team will also continue to promote it to the media and directly to AARP's approximately 40 million members. M & R Strategic Services is AARP's online consultant, and the technical aspects of the campaign were subcontracted to Free Range Studios, Nannis said.
The nonprofit AARP describes itself as nonpartisan, and its political outreach centers on healthcare and social security reform. Those issues have been a central focus of the “Divided We Fail” campaign, which launched last year by a coalition made up of AARP, Business Roundtable, SEIU, and the National Federation of Independent Business.