26.05.2016 PR Bright Spot: The Electoral Commission

What is it?

A public awareness campaign by the Electoral Commission called ‘What?’ encouraging 18–25-year-olds to register to vote for the 2015 general election.

A video shows various bits of hidden camera footage showing members of the public being refused entry or service in places like parks, cafés and supermarkets.

It said: “Nobody likes to be told we can’t do something. It’s the same for the General Election.
“If you aren’t registered, you can’t vote.
“Your vote matters. Make sure you’re in.”


What was the effect?

The video, which was also broadcast on TV, had more than 38,500 views on Youtube.

Though no direct correlation can be proven, 70 per cent of 18-24-year-olds in the UK registered to vote for the general election, 14 per cent more than in 2010.


Why we liked it

With hundreds of thousands of people dropping off the electoral register in Britain between 2014 and 2015, the Electoral Commission had to act.

The ad showed young people what they would lose if they did not register to vote, as opposed to what they might gain from voting, which is an interesting and different way of engaging people with an important topic.

Using humorous everyday examples of people being told no made it relatable, which would have had an impact on the target audience.