MTV India launched its Rock the Vote initiative in December, 2013. The initiative encourages the youth to register their names in the electoral role and then, vote. The campaign started off with a couple of television commercials and has now been extended to enable users to participate in a Twitter campaign even without a smartphone.
In an official communiqué, Sumeli Chatterjee, head, marketing and insights, MTV India, says, "MTV Rock the Vote initiative is an interactive campaign that is designed to fuel conversations around elections. The 'Follow the Hashtag' feature will ensure we reach out beyond just the smartphone users, thus allowing the large user base of regular (feature) phones to interact with the Rock the Vote campaign."
Starting with crowd-sourced videos from colleges, web series on funny FAQs on voting, selfies of youth 'inked' during election, live tweeting the college concerts, interactive television programming, comic strips and satires, the messaging of MTV Rock the Vote is integrated with Twitter conversations.
Chatterjee adds, "This feature phone service will ensure the conversation reaches far and wide across the online and offline youth universe, and hopefully mobilise the eligible new voters to step out and vote."
MTV claims to have launched the campaign as a non partisan initiative to drive awareness and education of the young generation to vote in the upcoming General Elections. The campaign is built on the philosophy that 'you cannot complain, if you do not vote'. It has a huge skew towards social media and mobile interactions. MTV also plans to launch hashtag wars on youth issues/voting along with live debates with political spokespersons and election experts leveraging the Twitter platform.
Giving this social campaign a humorous skew, the channel has also launched a series of witty videos to capture people's funny reactions on voting. The web series, 'Voting FAQs', captures reactions of people to some fun questions asked around the elections. The questions are bold, tricky and most of the time, confusing, thus testing the opponents' general knowledge while providing a dose of laughter.
Commenting on this innovation, Rishi Jaitly, India market director, Twitter, adds, "In India, Twitter has brought our users closer to the issues and moments that matter to them, while also enabling them to express their views and participate in real-time. We applaud MTV India for innovating on our platform on the occasion of Rock the Vote and for using Twitter's unique mobile service to engage its viewers."