Having the opportunity to vote is the foundation of a modern democracy. So when the New South Wales Electoral Commission (EC) appointed AFFINITY to handle the strategic, data and creative services to communicate the forthcoming State Government Election, we took our responsibility seriously.
Our task was to ensure all NSW voters were aware of the forthcoming election and how to vote given their individual circumstances. Our target was an incredibly diverse group comprising 2.4 million NSW enrolled voters spanning different languages, backgrounds, their ability to attend and diverse geographies. Our work needed to connect universally yet cut through in a category which is far from top of mind for most people. All this was against a backdrop of unprecedented political turmoil, disenchantment with our politicians (yet another sitting Prime Minister rolled by their own party) and decreasing voter turnout worldwide.
On looking at the numbers, we were struck by the fact NSW voters already have one of the highest voting turnouts not only in Australia but in the world. Much of this behaviour is largely attributed to a $50 fine for not turning out.
However, research informed us that most eligible voters intended to vote, it’s just they weren’t always prepared. Not being the most exciting event in their lives, the election simply isn’t on people’s radars. They forget. And when they remember, they’re not always quite sure what to do, where to go, when voting centres close, what to do if they can’t get there and so on. So we realised it was about enabling voters with the details in a compelling and memorable way. More than that, we found a way to practically support them: we dusted off the Electoral Reminder Service (ERS) a push-notification service to get you to the right place at the right time to exercise your democratic right.
Knowing our role was not to convince people about democracy, but rather to help them get to the end goal of casting their vote with minimum fuss and maximum information, we leveraged the paradigm of fitness. We created a ‘training program’ designed to get people geared up, prepared and ready to vote on election day. To get vote fit. Be vote ready.
With the election happening on 23 March, eligible voters were introduced to Eddy our hero Vote Fit trainer in February. His role was to lead voters and a swag of trainee characters through a series of informative and charming “voting fitness” tips and tools. Each piece armed voters with helpful techniques to enable them vote well on the day. From the more involved matters of how to vote early when travelling & opting in for the ERS, to simple reminders of election day: we used light-hearted associations from the Aussie election day such as the Democracy Sausage and Lamington drives at the ubiquitous school cake stall.
Spanning TV, social, radio, digital, press, outdoor and activation our fun and engaging creative approach, avoids being preachy and instead should be liked and even appreciated. By building a positive association with the EC and the information provided, we believe we’ll be directly boosting the likelihood of NSW voters having a hassle free voting experience.
As we’re only in market since February, we don’t have results to share of course. We’ll be measured on sustaining similar voter turnout as for the last state election in 2015 as well as registrations for the ERS.