Getting Young Europeans to Vote

Ogilvy, Brussels


European Parliament


71% of youngsters didn’t vote at the last European elections in 2009. Our challenge is to get young people who are detached from politics to vote in the upcoming European elections in May 2014. First time voters are a particularly important target audience.


Our strategy is to create content that young people want to share - fun, interactive, shocking or just plain stupid. We distribute the content on social media using owned and earned channels, then use highly targeted paid advertising to spark interest and catalyse viral sharing. This is Europe's largest ever social media campaign. Here are two examples. 

... And then came a lot of sheep (What will your first time look like?)

This video targets first-time voters. Social media usage data shows that young people (18 years and under) are most likely to share videos that are fun, exciting, awesome or plain stupid. So we created a movie that appeals to their sense of humour, visual style and tone. The video takes the idea of 'first time' and magnifies it in surreal and unexpected ways - highlighting the message that the 'first time' is a big deal. 

Initial results: Only five days after its release (6 May 2014), the movie had been seen more than 2.3 million times.

4 million views:

Many believe that young people are detached from politics and therefore from major decisions that affect their lives. So we created a video in which young people can create their own endings - demonstrating that they can take control.

How it worked: For four days, young people could submit their ideas online. Teams of animators were on standby to pick the best ideas and turn them into animations which were posted on the website. During this animation marathon, the artists created 90 different endings for the film from the 1,300 ideas submitted. 

Initial results: 75,000 people visited the website. The ‘original’ film had a total of 1,400,000 views on Facebook. In total, there were more than 4 million video views. The election takes place on 22 - 25 May 2014.

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