Brands use cause marketing to align themselves with a variety of social issues but in the US, recently the most pressing—and popular—way has become encouraging consumers to vote.
National Voting Day was on September 25, drawing brands from across industries to spread awareness.
Snapchat turned to its young consumer base to encourage voting through a partnership with TurboVote. US users 18 and over were given links through their profile pages that help register to vote and encourage their friends to do the same. In addition, Snapchat will host mid-term election content through its Discover for Stories channel.
The Civic Culture Coalition is a non-partisan group “powered by pop culture” made up of more than a dozen brands. Participants include Ad Council, AMC Theatres, Anonymous Content, ATTN:, AwesomenessTV, Bad Robot, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), DoSomething.org, Entertainment Industry Foundation, iHeartMedia, Lyft, SB Projects, TOMS, Tumblr, Univision Communications, VICE Media and more.
The Civic Culture Coalition’s first campaign is called “I am a voter,” offering tools and resources like registration portals and reminders. Celebrity partners wore pins and t-shirts to events to help raise awareness and direct audiences to a website and text message platform.
HBO partnered with Rock the Vote to issue a public service announcement starring actors from the network’s programming. One by one, actors like Tony Hale, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kumail Nanjiani and more look at the camera and appear to want to say something. When all of them remain silent, the video reads, “There’s only one voice that needs to be heard. Yours. Register to Vote.”
Johnnie Walker partnered with Vote.org to support increased voter participation with a campaign that encouraged giving employees time off. The initiative is part of Johnnie Walker’s ongoing “Keep Walking America” campaign that debuted in 2016. The company has committed to giving its own employees two hours paid time off so they can make it to the polls on November 6. In addition, the spirits brand will relaunch its “Keep Walking America” TV spot, featuring re-imagined version of “This Land is Your Land” as performed by Chicano Batman.
MTV has long been active in encouraging young consumers to get to the polls. This year, a campaign called “+1thevote” asks citizens to connect with a friend who isn’t yet registered to vote. The dedicated website suggests throwing a #VoteTogether party to increase participation. Those who share their party plans with MTV could win up to $1,000.
A number of studies have shown that today’s young consumers are becoming far more active in social issues, which is reflected by their purchasing behavior. A recent study by Fuse found that 67 percent of teens were more likely to purchase from a company that supported a cause than one that doesn’t.
While encouraging others to vote may not be choosing sides on a particular issue, it shows that the brand cares and values the consumer’s voice—which is becoming increasingly important to consumers.