Using the slogan 'Got 5?', the Electoral Commission said that the activity marked a "new approach" to its comms strategy. Rather than highlighting the negative (i.e. losing a chance to vote), this campaign is focused on the positive, emphasising the ease of registering to vote.
Designed to maximise registrations ahead of May's local elections, the campaign will run across various channels, including comms via the Electoral Commission's social media accounts (on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat).
The PR aspect of the campaign is being handled by the Electoral Commission's in-house comms team. The body is taking a regional and local media approach to targeting those local authorities where elections are taking place.
"We know that there are still people not registered, so we will be highlighting this to local media – for example the commission estimates that one in five isn’t registered to vote in Yorkshire and the Humber," said Emma Hartley, Electoral Commission head of campaigns.
The organisation is supporting local authority teams, providing them with template press releases and template social media posts that they in turn can distribute to local media via their own social media channels.
The Electoral Commission's @YourVote_UK has been tweeting news of the campaign with an embedded video featuring various vignettes of downtime, including a row of spinning washing machines in a launderette. The video has also been posted on YouTube.
HAVE YOU #GOT5?— Your Vote Matters (@YourVote_UK) March 12, 2018
Today we’re pleased to launch our brand new campaign to encourage people in England to register to vote ahead of the #localelections. RT our video to spread the message! ?? https://t.co/AH3wa2ddgY pic.twitter.com/MOTMJDIpZh
The campaign tagline refers to the times in a day when a person might have a spare five minutes — the time it would take them to register online. It uses imagery including running a bath, waiting for a bus, or waiting for nail varnish to dry to visually represent the concept of spare moments.
It is also intended to remind people who have recently moved house that they must re-register. The core audience is 18- to 34-year-olds, renters and students.
Its success will be measured on the basis of registration increases, campaign recognition and recall; while the press office will be monitoring media and social coverage and sentiment.
Craig Westwood, the Electoral Commission's director of comms and research, said: "It is vital for our democracy that every eligible voter finds it easy to participate in elections. 'Got 5?' is based on many years' research into voter registration, and will demystify the registration process for first timers, while providing a handy reminder for people who need to re-register because they have recently moved."
The non-PR elements of the campaign were created by The Gate, part of agency group MSQ Partners. The stills and videos for the integrated campaign were shot by photographer Nick Meek, who photographed the stills and short-form content as well as a video-on-demand and TV ad. The creative uses saturated colour, with the films' action punctuated by a quirky soundtrack. Agency Stack worked on the strategy for the campaign, while media space was bought by Carat.
Last week, PRWeek wrote about the Electoral Commission's campaign to tackle electoral fraud.
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