YouTube Film, Case study #voteirl by Big Spaceship

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Industry Website
Media Film, Case study
Market United States
Agency Big Spaceship
Production Hook
Released November 2016


LIA Awards 2017
Social Influencers Psa Gold Winner

Credits & Description

Entrant: Big Spaceship, Brooklyn
Brand: Youtube
Name of Social Influencer: Multiple
Corporate Name of Client (if applicable): YouTube
Agency: Big Spaceship, Brooklyn
Production Company: Hook, Ann Arbor
Knowing that the US Presidential Election would be a major cultural moment in 2016 and that voter turnout had decreased to abysmal levels. YouTube wanted to help spark change and empower the voices of YouTubers & celebrities, along with the millennials who follow them.
- Only 1 in 3 millennials voted in 2012.
- In 2016, 50% of unregistered voters were millennials.
- 2016 is the first election where millennials will outnumber baby boomers.
YouTube’s objective was to increase the levels of new voter registration and election day turnout for the 2016 election. We aimed to reach 50% of U.S. millennials.
The YouTube community is famous for organizing movements, commenting, liking, and disliking. Yet, despite this digital activism, they're the least likely demographic to vote. VoteIRL asked millennials to put down their phones and vote in real life. But to vote, you have to be registered. We discovered it takes an average of 1m34s to register to vote.
So rather than feed scripts to celebrities, we focused on building entertaining prompts and creative tools for the YouTube community to create empowering messages themselves. We activated creators with a simple prompt: "Film yourself doing anything you want for 1m34s while your viewers register to vote." Over 211 videos were created by YouTubers and celebrities including The Rock and Conan, earning 7M total views. As a final push we recorded a special video with President Obama, urging our community to get out and vote in real life.
On September 20th, 2016, #voteIRL launched a week before National Voter Registration Day. Using this as our anchor, we galvanized YouTubers & celebrities to upload their ‘Register to Vote in 1:34’ videos in the weeks leading up to state registration deadlines.
Our campaign went live across multiple properties:
Influencer YouTube Channels - Influencers posted 1:34 videos to their channels and social, 7M total views.
YouTube Spotlight Channel - posted a 1:34 compilation video and various celebrity videos (Cher, West Wing cast) to our own channel (26M subscribers)
YouTube Social Handles - combined 182M+ followers, posted influencer videos, custom content, and did a channel art takeover.
YouTube Homepage & In-App Promos - homepage placement & in-app promos garnered 280M impressions (over half the population of the U.S.)
On November 7, we launched our Obama voting PSA as an extra push to get our audience to vote in real life, 3M views.
This was YouTube’s most successful direct-to-creator video prompt ever, over 211 top YouTubers and celebrities participated (Cher, Ryan Seacrest, The Rock, Conan, Chainsmokers). We successfully activated creators with our open prompt, instead of a typical scripted PSA. The #voteIRL videos on YouTube received over 7M combined views.
We generated 24k social mentions and 2.4B total organic impressions, with over 43% of our impressions came from our target demographic (18-24 yr olds).
While the outcome of the U.S. election was...surprising, more millennials registered & voted than ever before. Our campaign shortlink ( alone drove 2M clicks through to online registration tools. In 2016, a record breaking 83% of millennials were registered to vote and 30% more millennials actually voted compared to 2012. And they’ll still be registered in 2020 :)
We had 70+ press stories including Teen Vogue, Mashable, and The View (2.7M viewers).