The historic 2008 Presidential Election posed an exciting challenge, offering artists from every discipline the opportunity to rally the ever-crucial youth voters to head out to the polls. From music concerts to video PSAs to the iconic graphic work of Shephard Fairey and others, artists across the country worked with great determination to inspire young people – some for the first time – to register for the election. While anticipation was high, research from past elections showed organizers that the critical accomplishment was not only to get young voters registered and excited, but to make sure they actually made it out to the polls on Election Day.
To increase the outreach, Fuel developed the concept and branding and managed the outreach strategy for the Raise the Volume, Raise the Vote DJ Campaign in partnership with Grammy Award-winning musician and DJ Questlove of The Roots and leading youth voter organization Declare Yourself. The idea was simple: with outreach capacity to thousands of clubgoers, DJs were an important community not yet formally organized to support the youth voter turnout effort. Fuel used its successful artist outreach strategy to engage 25 top club DJs in a campaign that included club nights, email campaigns, cross-promotion, press and event appearances, and key partnerships with music-oriented brand partners to reach young people in the pivotal two weeks prior to the November 4th election.
Raise the Volume, Raise the Vote – spearheaded by DJ Questlove – featured top spinners including DJ Tony Okungbowa of the Ellen Degeneres Show, Bassnectar, Neil Aline, DJ Ayres, DJ Rekha, Francois K, DJ Spooky, DJ Lady Miss Kier, DJ Shakey, Mick Boogie, DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid in 18 club shows in key swing states, “GO VOTE” email messages and co-branded fliers and giveaways sent to over 70,000 young people across the country. Election Day got off to a rocking start with the Raise the Volume “The Ultimate Election Day Playlist” created by the participating DJs in partnership with MySpace Music. Featured on the Myspace Music homepage, the playlist garnered over 10,000 listens in its first hours of release. Finally, the campaign culminated in a Grand Finale Party at the Time Square Virgin Megastore for 1,000 shoppers and visitors and headlined by Bhangra music’s biggest star DJ Rekha, DJ Ayres of Brooklyn’s hottest club night The Rub, and house music legend Neil Aline. Guests who could proudly proclaim their “I VOTED” status received a range of gifts including limited edition American Eagle “VOTE” t-shirts, “I VOTED IN 08″ buttons, stickers and more. DJ Tony Okungbowa rounded out the festivities live on the Ellen Degeneres Show where he sported the official Declare Yourself “VOTE” t-shirt.