A recent Instagram post by David Dobrik resulted in more than 100,000 voter registrations in 24 hours … [+]
Inspiring young people to vote is nothing new in 2020 – but the speed with which audiences are responding to influencers’ calls to action is breaking records.
A photo that YouTube star David Dobrik posted to Instagram on September 29 showed the 24-year-old in front of a set of five white Teslas adorned with bright red bows. The headline: “Hi !! HeadCount and I are giving you 5 Teslas for free !! All you have to do is add this to your story, tag a friend in the comments and make sure you can vote using my link in bio !! The winners will be announced on Monday. Good luck!”
The post, which is part of HeadCount’s #GoodToVote campaign, has earned millions of likes and more than 1.8 million comments – and, according to HeadCount, crashed its voter registration page with more than 100,000 new voter registrations in 24 hours.
“I spend a lot of time on YouTube understanding what is building an audience – what gets views, what increases subscribers, what affects watch time,” said Ben Relles, director of innovation at YouTube Originals. “But the ‘Good to Vote’ stats were a fun change because once we learned what was working and why, we knew it was leading to new first-time voters. Nothing against views, but when the registration stats hit the David Dobrik post, I was completely insane. “
Dobrik’s messaging is part of the broader #GoodToVote campaign developed by Relles and Tess Finkle, CEOs of Metro Public Relations in Los Angeles. The 2020 campaign also includes contributions from Samuel L. Jackson, Emma Roberts, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Gad, Alisha Marie, Remi Cruz, DeStorm Power, Tina Fey and the cast of Mean Girls, the original cast of the hit reality series Laguna Beach, and more.
Of the 160,000+ new voter registrations the campaign drove, more than 85% are under 30 years of age. According to Relles, the success was many years in development.
“Some of the first people to agree to make good choices – epic rap battles, Vsauce, Corinne Leigh, Destorm, Rebecca Black, Rhett and Link – these were channels I’ve known for over 10 years and those I wanted to help myself try the idea out, and I’m really grateful for it, ”said Relles. “You have some fans who probably started watching when they were 10 and are now voting for the first time.”
Media influencers have been using their votes to drive voter registration for decades. But, according to Relles, “YouTube creators have definitely shown a level of fandom that we haven’t seen on any other platform.”
“Personally, I love when influencers use their social impact platform, and I’ve never seen more of them than in 2020,” said Relles. “They have a really loyal audience that they have built themselves and I am always impressed when they use their platform forever.”
“This campaign is the by-product of our team at Metro, which is gathering earlier this year to discuss our unique access to people with influence and responsibility to leverage those relationships in ways that can have a significant impact on society – especially in the Connection with these elections. Said Finkle. “We brought our client David Dobrik and a campaign idea that we knew would resonate with his audience to HeadCount to address the challenges of in-person registration events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both HeadCount and Ben Relles have been incredible partners and we are so proud of the record numbers we achieved with this campaign. “
This story has been updated to include a comment from Tess Finkle, CEO of Metro Public Relations.