Every other youth voter registration programme has reminded people of their responsibility to vote. Inspired by behavioural economic theory, we turned that approach on its head and reminded people of the potency of their vote instead. Our first message was ‘They don’t expect us to vote’ and it immediately resonated. In a campaign conceived, developed and delivered in less than 3 weeks, we recruited dozens of artists to spread our message, co-produced a music track with Big Narstie, held a live Twitter broadcast with Lily Allen, got on-the-ground sign-up teams led by the stars of Channel 4’s Skins and gained over one billion impressions across social media.
Before the campaign started, a poll indicated 14% of the under-25s would definitely vote on June 8th compared with 79% of over-65s. Our campaign strategy was to mobilise the youth audience and the disenfranchised within society to highlight the potency of their vote given the assumed low youth turnout. With a strategic platform of Be Heard, Not Herded, we made Rize Up about making the establishment stand up and take notice of youth voters. We wanted to show that the youth vote can be the spanner in the works, the thorn in the side or the shock to the system needed to wake people up to youth issues.
The strategy was for Rize Up to become the voice of a generation. We united young musicians to get the message across and to drive the focus of the country’s attention on the audacious plans of Rize Up. Through music, social media and conversation we knew we could energise an entire generation and put the cat amongst the pigeons in an election that never planned for the youth vote to show up.
Our strategic partner, Studio Output gathered a volunteer team of creatives and partner agencies that enabled Rize Up to spark a dynamic, independent campaign online and in the streets. We enlisted artists, influencers and street teams; created commercial partnerships and crowdfunding initiatives; and combined cutting edge technology, face-to-face campaigning, and traditional media to spread its message in a credible, authentic tone of voice.
Influencer outreach resulted in high profile names declaring their support for the campaign, including Rudimental, Tinie Tempah, Professor Green, Big Narstie, Maverick Sabre, Emeli Sande, Lily Allen, Doc Brown, Brian May, UB40, Steel Pulse, Skinnyman, Rodney P, Novar FLIP, Genesis Elijah, Blak Twang, Soweto Kinch, Cleveland Watkiss, Phili n Dotz, Ian Berry, Sonny Wharton, Eddy Temple-Morris and Rick Astley.
Every Lush store in the UK joined the campaign, posting Rize Up materials in their shop fronts and seeing staff literally leaving their stores to urge young voters to register. In addition, Lush stores offered homeless people an address to register their vote to.
Working in conjunction with youth company Biggafish, Rize Up was supported by volunteer street teams signing up voters in cities and town centres across the UK including London, Bristol, Cardiff, Manchester, Bolton, Chester, Birmingham, Norwich and Brighton. In the run up to the voter registration deadline over half a million leaflets were handed out.
Rize Up joined forces with Bite the Ballot’s campaign for a live stream with Lily Allen at Twitter HQ London.
We hosted a registration party at Old Blue Last with Skinny Man, Bossman Birdie, Shadez the misfit, Doc Brown, Kelvyn Colt, and Aaron Unknown.