Teens! Get Voting!

and Stop Twerking

This is interesting from Ogilvy Brussels.Just to clarify I used the word ‘interesting’ in it’s traditional meaning; as a polite alternative to ‘really weird and I don’t really understand it.’

Then to top it all off, this ad is supposed to be shown in all 28 EU member states as a means to drive young people to the polling stations, so in Eurocratic terms this ad is ‘supranational’.

I always find party political broadcasts fascinating actually. Before I even considered a career in marketing I used to enjoy reading about politics, still do. Thus the first ads I knew of, that I could actually attribute to an agency, were the famous ‘Labour Isn’t Working’ ones the Saatchis produced for Mrs. T. That poster was voted the greatest of the 20th century by Campaign you know. Little fact for you.

Anyway, this European Parliament ad is tackling an incredibly tough brief.

Firstly it’s targeting first-time voters. Now, apathy in young people about the political process is rampant, particularly in Britain. And whether you think he’s a genius or just a plain dickhead, Russell Brand captured this dispiritedness rather well when chatting to Paxo last year. So you can see what they’re up against.

Adding to the toughness of the brief, this ad is encouraging young people to vote, not in their national elections, but in the European ones. The European Parliament, whilst filled with noble people trying to do noble things I’m sure, I would imagine doesn’t mean much to the average person on the street, let alone the average 18 year old. I can’t speak for the rest of the EU but certainly in Britain, few could tell you it’s powers or what legislation it has a say over.

Then to top it all off, this ad is supposed to be shown in all 28 EU member states as a means to drive young people to the polling stations, so in Eurocratic terms this ad is ‘supranational’.

Goodness me, what a mountain to climb Ogilvy Brussels. I wouldn’t have thought the EU Parliament is the easiest client to work with either.

I just think it’s worth bearing in mind the difficulty of the brief, while judging this ad. Though even with that in mind, I’m sure you agree it’s all over the shop.

Firstly I really don’t understand why it would make any 18-year-old go out and vote. I mean surely everyone will understand that their actual voting experience will resemble just the beginning, in a drab village hall with an ugly old bloke eating a sandwich, and then they’ll tick a box and go home.

If young people wanted a closer experience to the ad, they could always listen to some inferior electronica on their ipod, go into the voting booth, nut the table, jump out the window and try to piss off some sheep in a nearby field.

But why? That’s the question.

I think perhaps inspiration should’ve been taken from our cousins across the pond, who came up with this for the last election.

Now I’m aware that wheeling out the celebrities to get people voting can look pretty desperate, and has the potential to go completely tits up – I mean who can forget Clint Eastwood at the Republican Convention in 2012…

I think the difference is that this American ad is self aware and ironic. It’s ‘post watersheddy’ which surely must appeal to young people. And above even that, sprinkled in with the funnies, there are some genuinely decent reasons to vote in there.

More than can be said for the European Parliament ad.

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