Saatchi Voting is hot af

Saatchi & Saatchi Ignite Youth Vote Interest with 'Voting is Hot AF''

The non-partisan effort driven by Ecotricity founder Dale Vince leverages modern dating culture to make voting attractive to young adults

By Emma Vernon

Saatchi & Saatchi is channelling modern dating trends to redefine voting for younger demographics with 'Voting is Hot AF'.

Powered by Ecotricity founder Dale Vince and insights from PR agency Borkowski, the "Just Vote" campaign aims to encourage young people to vote in the July 4 general election, leveraging the finding that 40 per cent of 18-24 year olds find regular voters more attractive.*

Franki Goodwin, CCO, Saatchi & Saatchi says, “Finding the right message, at the right moment to influence real behaviour change is when advertising is at its most powerful. It’s been extremely interesting mining dating and internet culture to find a real world upside to young people engaging in politics – a place that can often feel like the least attractive, least youthful place on earth and that’s not good for anyone.”

Richard Huntington, chair and CSO, Saatchi & Saatchi adds, “Hot AF is the democratic equivalent of “if in emergency, smash glass”,  because only half of 18-24 year olds now vote and that’s an emergency.”

The vibrant and playful OOH and socially-led campaign debuts across the UK this week, and features a varied design world built on the founding principle that ‘hotness’ is both subjective and abstract - just like the decisions we each make at the polls. Every interpretation of ‘hotness’ is celebrated in the creative, just as every vote - and every person who gives AF - should be.

Reimagining the voting trope of the ‘X’ as a visual shorthand to symbolise attraction, the work draws on modern dating culture to explore what attraction means to different people, while also nodding to the X-ratedness of sex appeal. Echoing the language and social tropes of this culture, headlines include Get polled”, Giving AF is hot AF”, “Talk turnout to me” and “18+ for a reason”.  

Youth turnout has historically been lower than within other demographics, with a third of the UK population up to the age of 34 abstaining. The Just Vote campaign aims to engage young people ahead of next month’s polling date and remind 18-24 year olds to register, remember their ID, and turn out on July 4.

Dale Vince, Founder of Just Vote and CEO of Ecotricity said: “Saatchi & Saatchi has had a powerful influence on the course of British political history and in partnering with us on Just Vote ahead of this general election they are underlining the urgency of ensuring that young people and first-time voters are given a voice on 4 July."

The new research which inspired the work was conducted with YouGov, and also found:

  • More than half of those surveyed (52 percent) felt that regular voters were more intelligent, while 35 percent said voters were more trustworthy

  • When asked about the dating behaviours of voters as compared to non-voters, a fifth (20 percent) felt that non-voters were more likely to be rude to a waiter, while 21 percent felt that non-voters would spend a first date talking about themselves

  • Crucially, 18 percent felt that non-voters would be more likely to commit the ultimate dating faux-pas and ghost you

  • By comparison, those who voted were considered more likely (17 percent) to take care of the bill on a date

Mark Borkowski, founder of Borkowski PR Agency says: Elections in the UK bring out the best in the great British media. Just Vote unites the passion and innovation of long time friend and partner Dale Vince, with the creative genius of Saatchi & Saatchi, who are always leading the zeitgeist of behavioural change. To generate cut through amongst the noise of all that is vying for the hearts, minds and eyeballs of our young people, is not an easy task, but one that it has never been more important to pursue.” 

*Survey commissioned by the Just Vote campaign and conducted by YouGov from 23rd-28th May, of 4200 UK adults.


Campaign Title: Voting Is Hot AF

Client: Ecotricity

Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

CCO: Franki Goodwin

Executive Creative Director: Will John

Creative Director: Chris Townsend

Creatives: Marie Jensen, Josephine Rasmussen, Will Blackburn, Avril Delaney, Molly Ohayon, Issie Peach

Executive Design Director: Nathan Crawford

Designer: Dani Wolf, Jimmy Leung, Benny Yang

Chief Strategy Officer: Richard Huntington

Senior Planner: Jonny Turnbull

Managing Director: Jonathan Tapper

Business Lead: Rania Kouros

Account Director: Cali Fish

Agency Producer: Brett MacDonald

Media Buying Agency: Electica


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