CTPerspectives: Which brands are doing the best job of encouraging people to vote this fall?

September 2020 | By Lizzie Manley

Politics is a tricky business for most brands, in that partisanship can alienate employees and/or customers. But brands also recognize that consumers expect more civic engagement, demonstrating more loyalty to those that take stances on issues they care about. That competition has created a sweet spot: Pro-democracy and pro-voter. As the November election increasingly comes into view, we asked our team for thoughts on the brands they feel are doing it best.

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

“I like that NBA arena owners are making their arenas available as polling places. Similar to Old Navy, it doesn’t have to be positioned as a political statement, simply as a way to help ensure that everyone who wants to vote is able to.” – Fred Conover, CEO

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

 

One of my favorite brands of all time (for many, many reasons) is Ben & Jerry’s. They are incredibly vocal about their support of social justice issues and the tone of their messaging is direct, positive and inspiring. In regards to election-specific messaging/outreach, there’s a page on their site devoted to their belief that “Democracy only works when it works for everyone.” The page offers educational video content, links to register to vote and other ways to take action. Their IG is full of informational/educations posts regarding social justice issues, such as systemic racist, dismantling white supremacy, transgender rights, the gender wage gap, our broken prison system, and so on. B&J is not afraid to speak their mind and make their values and beliefs known.” – Nikki Peters, Management Supervisor

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

“One brand that has stood out, or rather significantly pushed voting content upon me, is Instagram. Every time I open the app the very top of the screen reads, “see voting resources and official updates about the 2020 US Election.” The page has information on registering to vote, including the deadline for Massachusetts (based on location), and a direct link to the state registration page, a link to request a ballot by mail in Massachusetts or from overseas, general voting facts, story stickers to encourage friends to vote, and a link to where you can sign up to work the polls. I’ve personally checked my voting status through the app and have seen more and more friends sharing the voting sticker to their stories.

 

By having the notification appear constantly, Instagram is making getting information and voting in every state as seamless as possible. The company understands how big of a reach they have, and are taking full advantage of it. Making the app not just a social media platform for posting aesthetically pleasing images, but a place to create real change and make a real impact on society.” – Kelsie Johnson, Account Executive, PR

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

“You can always leave it to Patagonia to take a stand. In. Very. Clear. Terms. The label on its Regenerative Organic Stand-up Shorts reads “Vote the a**holes out.” They’ve teamed with @BallotReady to encourage people to vote. And their homepage reads “Don’t Sit This One Out … We Aren’t.” Consistent message, across all platforms, that’s true to the social activists that they are.” – Todd Graff, SVP Public Relations

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

Uber just announced a partnership with TurboVote, to encourage and help customers and employees register to vote and/or request mail-in ballots. It’s available in both the Uber and Uber Eats apps. Discounted rides will also be offered to and from polling sites (haven’t mentioned if there’s a code or anything yet). 

 

I also just got an email that links to a “power to the polls site” encouraging everyone to help out in local communities given the shortage of poll workers.” – Kelsie Johnson, Account Executive, PR

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

“I appreciate how brands like Old Navy aren’t just using their platform to remind people to vote; instead they’re taking real action. Its move, along with other big name companies, to pay its employees to volunteer as poll workers addresses a real concern for November 3, has generated significant media attention and helped polish a brand that has suffered more than a few PR bruises in the past. In a CNN opinion column its president Nancy Green explained what drove them to move, ‘At Old Navy, inclusivity and opportunity have always been part of our DNA. With 50,000 employees in our stores across the country, we saw an opportunity, and a responsibility, to help.'” – Brian Heffron, Partner

See our work.

Partner with us.

See our work.

Partner with us.