Lost Generation – How To Reach Young Voters
I am constantly amazed at the media play given to the youth movement in American politics. It is presented as if there is a revolution of sorts. Well I was once part of a youth movement in 1980 when John Anderson was an independent candidate for US President. The college campuses were full of students like myself who felt the energy of something new. More recently in Minnesota, young voters were given much credit/blame for electing a pro wrestler Governor. Despite this never-ending “news” story, nothing really changes. The motivation for the younger voter is simply different than for the over-thirty crowd.
What I do not understand is why candidates do such a poor job reaching these voters. We have long mastered the ability to target advertising to specific demographics. Don’t try to sell children’s toys during a football game. So why not apply such simple logic to the young voters?
In my specialty field of radio, it is easy to create messages that appeal to the angry, disenfranchised and revolutionary spirit that lives in many young adults. Seeking to find self and success while dealing with the financial challenges of life fuels a lot of strong emotions and opinions. One of the many great features of radio is the ease of reaching the demographic in most markets. The stations that attract the younger voter are obvious, but the design of your political commercial needs to be equally obvious.
You do not need to resort to profanity to reach the younger voter., nor do you need to load the commercial full of current catch phrases. This demographic is not stupid, just younger. When you were twenty-three how did you react when treated anything less than an adult? What you need is the insight of a political copy writing professional who has the requisite experience required to reach this generation of voters.
Will it make a difference? In some elections, it is difference between victory and defeat. If you are a candidate seeking office for