The next General Election will be held no later than Thursday June 3rd 2010. Stonewall wants to produce an eye-catching persuasive awareness campaign to encourage people to register and use their vote.
It would be worth investigating how current political parties encourage people to vote. And there’s an opportunity to organise some primary research to find out what would encourage people to vote.
Remember that as a registered charity Stonewall is politically neutral. They work with all the political parties and so the creative thinking must not be biased towards one party in particular.
Initially we were asked to create a postcard to encourage people to vote.
"A democracy without voters is like a bike without handlebars. Get A Grip."
(Postcard Design/Georgina Carroll, Sophie Jane Pickup, Frankie Baird.) Pre-Campaign. Taking inspiration from the original postcard, we wanted to create a political campaign but avoid the negative connotations of politics. A campaign, which would appeal to students (18-25). We decided to host our own election, and for this we needed promotion. We were keen to avoid a corporate look, much the opposite, we wanted to subtly hint towards politics, but not throw it in peoples faces. We needed to create enough intrigue for people to tun up, without giving away the purpose of the event. If we could succeed in getting people to take part, this would give us a real insight into how successful our promotional approach was.
The 'Not So' General Election.
The election is all about choice, and in Britain we are lucky enough to have the right to vote. Once people arrived at the event, we wanted to try and get them to understand what it would be like if they couldn't vote. Therefore the ballot papers were designed to take away the participants right to choose. Each ballot displayed the name of just one political party. The only choice given to the participant was whether they would be 'voting' of 'not voting.' The ballot instructed the participant to tear off the coloured strip and place it in one of two ballot boxes. Participants would then get to keep the rest of the postcard as a souvenir of the day.
Souvenir Pop-up Ballots.
(design by Nina McNamara)
The card reads "I went to the general election and all I got was this lousy Pop-up postcard"
A number of results could prevail from this experiment.
- Would the participant 'not vote' as a rebellion against their loss of choice?
- Would they vote regardless of which party they got?
- Would they refuse to vote completely?
- Most importantly, Would having their choice taken away persuade them to value their vote in the real general election?
Key purposes to the event:
- Test the impact of our teaser posters/postcards, by analysing the response to the event.
- Creating an experience for participants, so they can interact with politics and feel involved on a personal level
- Using this interaction to really make people understand the importance of voting.
(Photography: Jen Hingley)
When the participants had finished voting, they were asked to read this exit poster, to re-inforce our message of how it feels to have 'choice' taken away, ensuring they understand why they have taken part in our 'experiment.'
(Poster Design-Jen Hingley)
We wanted people to become involved within a voting 'experience.' Everything from the Facebook group, Teaser posters/postcards, The Alternative Ballots to the Polling Station Itself, were designed to involve participants in a unique way, and to keep them intrigued.
Using the statistics we gathered from the 'Election Day,' we created follow-up posters. and booklets. These still carry the signature 'Ballot slot' as seen throughout. This links with, and try to incorporate, the 'experience' of the day into a poster in order to encourage voting. We generated a follow-up pack, which will contain ephemera from throughout the project and re-inforce the idea of creating souvenirs and collectables related to the election.
Voters will become more like fans, Politicians more like celebrities.
Follow- Up Campaign.
The event was essentially market research, but not only that, we felt it was important to show the public how we used the information they had provided, and keep them involved.We generated posters using the statistics, and the 'comments' we received from participants about the event.
Poster Design Jen Hingley
Poster Design: Nina McNamara
3 postcard pack.
We also created a promotional pack. We wanted to stay in keeping with our guerilla style of working. The pack contains
- Follow-up fold out poster
- A booklet explaining the whole campaign from start to finish
- follow-up postcards of the Polling station
- 3 pack of postcards showing participants
- Souvenir rosette (a re-creation of those worn on the day)
- The Alternative Ballot
Design: Sophie Jane pickup, Georgina Carroll.
- " Really Makes you think, Do I have a choice?Mind Games"
- "I think the campaign works, it reminds me of the importance of personal choice- but we have to interact to understand how we feel when our choice is dicated for us. Great!"
- "The display made me very angry, I didn't have a choice. Sterling work all round, especially that sex-pot who gave out the ballots!yum x"
- "The most important thing I do, voting was so hard won by our forefathers/mothers. Why do young people not vote in large numbers?"
- "Very thought provoking"
- "I vote therefore I am"
- "Great Idea, but bossy polling station attendants..."