Led by Joby Andrews who runs Refresh West and a number of pubs in Bristol, this client was a group of interest parties wanting to engage young voters.
To encourage young people to register to vote ahead of the 2017 general election by highlighting a campaign run by a Bristol publican providing a free pint in return for registering to vote. The aim was to get a simple, understandable message across to as many people as possible in a way they would understand.
Young voters were disconnected from the voting process with national top down campaigns to encourage registration failing miserably. Under UK electoral law it is illegal to provide anyone with goods or services in exchange for a vote. This is not the case with voter registration, so using the pub as the “pouring station”, we used what we had at our disposal: beer. We had only three weeks before the election date.
Rice PR created the “Vote This Year Get Free Beer” campaign. The message was simple: It doesn’t matter who you vote for, it just matters that you vote. Using the fact that the media were in a period of purdah, Rice PR called a press conference at one of Joby’s Bristol pubs to launch the campaign with press and social content as well as photography and video. In order to enlist the support of pubs across the country we commissioned a journalist with vast experience in the pub trades to highlight the campaign.
While impact of the figures on the national registration and turn out for the election are still under debate, a last minute surge in people registering to vote saw a quarter of a million young people under 25 years old sign up on the last possible day before the general election. Cabinet Office figures show that a total of 622,000 people registered to vote on 22 May. Of these, 246,000 were under 25. Young people were dominant among those registering, with 207,000 aged 25 to 34 – compared to just 10,000 people over the age of 65.