Creative industries urged to mobilise millions of young, 'climate concerned', voters

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Creative agencies, individuals and brand owners are being called on to use their persuasive skills and platforms to encourage young people who are not registered to vote to get their names on the electoral roll ahead of the UK General Election taking place on 12 December.

The aim of the politically neutral campaign is to target the estimated two million 18- to 30-year-olds who care about climate change but are not registered to vote, encouraging them through inspiring content to claim their future, energise and be a part of something bigger by voting.

‘#ItsOurTime’

The initiative is the idea of The Comms Lab, which has put together some easily accessible resources to support creatives wanting to take part, as well as coming up with the hashtag #ItsOurTime. 

Agencies and individuals are invited to either activate partnerships with relevant brands and platforms, or to simply create and share work.

Registration gap

Currently, there are 14.6m 18- to 34-year-olds in the UK, 4.79m of whom are not registered to vote, The Comms Lab said. 

An estimated 42% of these people are “climate concerned”. Among students, 91% are “fairly” or “very” concerned about climate change and 80% would vote for a government that planned to take action, according to the NUS Climate Change Tracker. 

By targeting young unregistered voters already concerned about the climate, the hope is to persuade them to turn their concern into positive action: registering to vote before the deadline of November 25.

“This is an open campaign”, The Comms Lad said. “There is no sign off. No client. All content just needs to have the #ItsOurTime #MakeClimateCount hashtags, the government registration URL and the registration deadline.”

The #ItsOurTime challenge builds on the creative industries’ growing appetite to take action on global warming as evidenced by initiatives like the Climate Crisis Summits and Create&Strike. 

It kicked off with a packed Emergency Election Sprint on Thursday 24 October held at Saatchi & Saatchi, which was attended by over 50 people from a range of agencies.

“This year has seen millions of young people take to the streets to make their voices heard on climate”, Ella Saltmarshe, director of #ItsOurTime, said. 

“Now it’s our time to take a stand. The creative industries can make a real difference at this crucial moment. 

“We hope that #ItsOurTime will result in an explosion of creativity over the next three weeks driving voter registration by tapping into multiple creative groups and networks, with multiple campaigns and multiple activations.”

Rosie Kitson, Joint Head of Strategy at Mindshare UK, said: “I feel genuinely excited to be involved in this important campaign. It seems completely obvious to me that we should harness the strategic and creative skills of our industry to make sure young people’s voices are heard in the political sphere. 

“The passion and focus that we’re seeing already in the team is infectious and gives me great confidence that this campaign will make a real impact.”

James Whatley, Strategy Partner at Digitas UK said: “I’m involved in #ItsOurTime because I think that ensuring young people are registered and ready to vote with climate in mind is fundamental to all our futures. 

“This is about driving real measurable action for change. Some of our smartest minds in the industry work on lead gen campaigns every day. 

“For the next three weeks, let’s turn our focus to this. Today more than ever, our work matters, because their voices matter. So let’s use our creative firepower to get 18-30s registered and climate vote ready.”

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