The Electoral Commission turns to Pandora to target the youth

At the outset of its campaign to drive voter turnout for upcoming election, the Electoral Commission has attempted to reach the younger segments of society. And this comes as little surprise given that youth voter turnout has been declining since 2002 and that only 77 percent of those aged been 18 and 24 have enrolled to cast a ballot on 20 September.

In an effort to catch the attention of this increasingly uninterested section of the population, the Electoral Commission has already commissioned Lorde to appear in a pair of videos in which she encourages eligible Kiwis to use the right she still doesn’t have. Tallying a cumulative total of about 30,000 views, these videos have attracted a decent level of attention, but they haven’t been shared sufficiently to reach all the young Kiwis who are yet to enrol. 

So, to consolidate these online and TV efforts, the Electoral Commission has now taken its message to a channel that is particularly popular among the younger segments of the population, Pandora.  

Around 80 percent of Pandora’s 245,000 users registered in New Zealand connect to the only streaming service via mobile devices, making the platform a powerful means by which to reach Kiwis when they are away from their televisions, desktops and laptops (27 percent of Pandora’s subscribers are aged between 18 and 24).   

The Electoral Commission’s media agency Starcom took the campaign imagery and TVC, which were conceptualised by Saatchi & Saatchi, to Pandora, and the online streaming service developed an advertising solution that feeds the advertisement to the listener in between songs.

The audio creative produced for the advertisement is very meta and plays on the functunality of Pandora’s ‘thumbing up and thumbing down’ feature.

Here’s the short script:

“Isn’t it great to have a choice? Thumbing up the songs you like and thumbing down those you don’t? Did you know that you have a choice on election day this year too? On September twenty, New Zealand goes to vote and it’s your chance to thumb up the party and MP of your choice. Simply click the banner to see why you should take part! Brought to you by the Electoral Commission.”

“It’s great to see the Electoral Commission leverage the strengths of Pandora so well,” says Pandora New Zealand’s commercial director Melanie Reece. “Our listeners are passionate and engaged so the reference to thumbing up and thumbing down in the audio is well played. Pandora’s passion point of music is sure to motivate voters and deliver results for this campaign.”

In addition to this, Pandora has also incorporated Electoral Commission-themed background skins onto the Pandora interface, with clickable videos and click-through links for more information.

Also, given that Pandora is able to target the messages in terms of age and gender target, this means the Electoral Commission is able to send its message out only to those it’s relevant to. 

And while the online music streaming market is still in its infancy, the reach of Pandora, Spotify and iHeartRadio grows daily. And as audience numbers increase, these channels start to look more attractive to prospective advertisers, meaning that campaigns like this might soon become more common.  

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