After this new #CareLikeCrazy ad campaign, which is basically 1984 for the Thought Catalog set, Rock the Vote! hopes the answer will be, "young people."
"They aren't meant to be typical ads, says Rock The Vote President Ashley Spillane. "Young people have tuned out typical campaign ads."
Indeed they are not, with their slow ten-second reveal, where the upstanding voters doing upstanding voter things suddenly transform into campaign ad villains. These voters don't care about women's rights or voting rights, the ad alleges. But they vote. Why don't you?
It's a bold pitch, one that would surely make the voters being made fun of less than pleased. However, Rock the Vote! isn't focused on making sure those demographics see them.
The nonpartisan organization, which has been trying to get young people interested in voting for decades, is launching a $250,000 ad buy in college towns across the country on Thursday, beginning with Gainesville, Florida; Tallahassee, Florida; Greenville, North Carolina; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Madison, Wisconsin; East Lansing, Michigan; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. On Monday, the ads will begin airing in Columbus, Ohio; State College, Pennsylvania; and Atlanta, Georgia. They're planning on running the ads through the election, moving to new towns and targeting diverse populations as November gets closer with the help of partner organizations like 18 Million Rising, Color of Change and Voto Latino.
They're trying everything. On National Voter Registration Day they debuted a new online voter registration app, and have more celebrities yet to unload in "to be announced" ways. The #CareLikeCrazy Web site invites visitors to "Take a selfie. Shoot a video. Tell us —— What do you #CareLikeCrazy about?"
And, they are making sure to only run the ads where they'll get the most bang for their buck. Twentysomethings aren't watching much TV, at least on TV. They're on YouTube and Hulu, where the ads will be playing. Rock the Vote! is also going to run ads on Facebook, Pandora and Spotify. When the ads do run, they're going to be on channels like Comedy Central.
This post has been updated.