Rock the Vote goes high-tech for 2012 elections
The November election is a recent memory but before ballots were cast, Rock the Vote added another technology to its bag of tricks to inform young people of their voting rights and help them register to vote.
The latest “We Will” campaign used NFC technology to enable citizens to begin the voter registration process and in some cases even register to vote, says Mikhail Damiani, CEO and co-founder of Blue Bite.
It was anticipated that recent legislation requiring voters to present government issued ID at the poll would made it harder for young people to vote in 20 states. The “We Will” campaign aimed to educate young people about these changes and reminded them of their collective power. This year, the Rock the Vote organization invested in its largest traditional and digital out-of-home campaign, incorporating billboards, phone kiosks, wild postings, taxi tops, college shuttle buses and digital screens in high-visibility areas. It also included NFC-layered bus shelters for the first time.
The campaign combined messages with photography and graphics and included NFC interactivity from Blue Bite, a mobile marketing company specializing in location-based campaigns.
On Oct. 1, it rolled out nationally with QR codes and in New York City and Miami with the NFC tags, Damiani says. Individuals with NFC phones were able to tap their handset on a tag to be directed to a Web site to fill out voter registration forms. The QR codes performed the same function when NFC was not available.
In states where voters can register online the forms were directly submitted to the state, Damiani says. In other cases individuals were encouraged to fill out the forms, email them and print out later for submission.
As of press time statistics on the campaign were not available, but overall use of NFC in these types of advertising campaign is picking up, Damiani says. Blue Bite has produced many campaigns that enable a user to tap an NFC tag for access to content or to download an application. Damiani says the number of consumers using NFC compared to QR codes has increased dramatically. “A year ago NFC was one out of every 10 impressions but now it’s one of every four,” he says.