MTV chooses 'Power of 12' as new election year slogan

NEW YORK: MTV has ditched the "Choose or Lose" slogan it used to promote its campaign coverage for two decades in favor of the "Power of 12."

NEW YORK: MTV has ditched the “Choose or Lose” slogan it used to promote its campaign coverage for two decades in favor of the “Power of 12.”

“It's come time to shed our skin and reinvent the campaign…for this generation of young people," said Jason Rzepka, VP of public affairs at MTV.

The network first considered ditching the slogan and creating a new one in 2008. In the past three yeas, it has found that young people, ages 18 to 29, are more disillusioned with the political process than in the past.

“There is still a real sense of hope, but there is also the question if electoral politics is the best course of action to get the changes they need,” Rzepka said. Chief concerns among this group are high student-loan debt and few job prospects, he added.

Rzepka explained that another challenge for the Power of 12 campaign is that there are more traditional and non-traditional media outlets than four years ago.

"There are unlimited choices,” he said. “We have to work even harder to become an almost essential place for young people.” 

Forty-five million consumers ages 18 to 29 will be eligible to vote in the 2012 election, representing the largest potential voting bloc in the country, Rzepka added.

“To harness that power, we really like this idea the Power of 12,” he said.

However, unlike previous election campaigns, the Power of 12 seeks to give young people the tools they need to affect change beyond just checking a ballot. This includes linking young entrepreneurs with resources to grow their businesses.

“This is a way to address the job crisis beyond just voting,” Rzepka explained. The campaign will also help to link college students with scholarship opportunities.

The network hopes to reach specific psychographics of young consumers who have previously not been involved in the electoral process. The company is creating content that will result in media coverage, such as the “Fantasy Election '12” game that will mirror the style of fantasy football. It is also planning some traditional media outreach and print media buys.

The network is assessing how it will use social media in its outreach efforts. Its internal research found politics and religion the two least popular categories that young consumers like to mention on social media sites, meaning it needs to move forward carefully, added Rzepka.  

“We can't just go barreling in with social media and expect to see huge engagement,” he said.

Although the network views the new slogan and campaign direction as positive steps, Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, said the Power of 12 doesn't have the same timeless hook as MTV's previous slogan.

“They won't be able to keep the name,” he said. “Somehow the ‘Power of 16' doesn't sound as good.”

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