Next Up is a nonprofit focused on engaging, empowering, and amplifying the voices of local youth leaders toward collective action in order to build a more inclusive and just democracy.
After doing an internal reflection surrounding how we, as a studio, were advocating for underserved communities, we sought out to uplift an organization that’s mission is exactly that.
Next Up’s top priority at the time was inspiring young voters to register for the November 2020 election, and then to actually vote! We jumped at the opportunity to help.
Our timeline was short, the budget was tight, and our target audience was younger than us. We were also up against existing media content built to cloud judgement and overwhelm eligible voters, regardless of age.
We collaborated with Next Up to gain insight and perspective from their community, employees, and leaders, including a small group of high school students. We tapped our own network of friends and family, both young and old. What motivated people to vote, or not vote? Did they think their voice mattered? What did they care about?
As expected, there are A LOT of issues to consider.
A central theme that struck us was the idea of voting for a movement or an issue, not for a person or political party. No matter what community you’re part of, something or someone you care about will be affected by the outcome of this (and every) election. Our approach was to create an interactive campaign that reflected this notion, encouraging young people to get personal and engage in the conversation by stating what issues mattered to them. We used the fill-in-the-blank messaging of “I’m voting for_________” to foster agency and communicate that we, as individuals, have the power to support our values and community through our vote.
And of course we couldn’t help but push this "blank" messaging concept a bit further with some playful calls to action.
Our use of bright colors, bold typography, playful animation, and DIY collage-style imagery was meant to convey urgency while allowing our messages to remain accessible and clear. We made open-source templates available to download for social media (and for printing at home), encouraging people to make their own “I’m Voting for ________" posts and to share them with their communities.
Leading up to Oregon's registration deadline, we took over Next Up's Instagram to share the causes and post countdown-style registration reminders. We also went old-school, taking to the streets to post flyers on telephone poles and stick magnets to USPS Blue Boxes (intended for people to take) to spread the word.
We repurposed our high-profile studio windows on the Burnside Bridge into a billboard, and even created some fun collateral with messaging that can be used year after year—it’s our belief that everybody loves totes and buttons.
All of this lead to what just might have been our favorite client presentation ever, involving tears of joy, and resulting in a campaign to be truly proud of. It was inspiring to collaborate with a local organization that's working hard to empower our youth, and to use our skills for a cause we strongly believe in.
Now… let’s get out and VOTE!