Agency: Grand Central Marketing Inc.
Client: General Growth Properties Inc.
General Growth Properties is the second largest owner/manager of malls in the United States, but they are losing the younger audience to online retailers. They wanted to drive 13- to 17-year-olds to their malls, generate publicity locally and nationally, gain a reputation as being socially conscious and partner with brands that teens consider cool.
During the presidential election, the company launched UR Votes Count, an experiential campaign that allowed teens under the age of 18 to have their voices heard. Over the course of six weeks, polling stations were set up in 148 malls, where teens could cast their vote for president, as well as voice their opinions on issues relevant to young people, such as the environment, healthcare, social security, the Iraq war, national security and education.
Information walls summarized the positions of the four major candidates (Obama, McCain, Nader and Barr) as well as the major issues. In addition, teens could sign a “Declaration of Involvement” banner. Teens who couldn’t get to the mall could vote via text. Those who voted received an “I Voted” pin and tattoo, as well as prizes, and were entered into a local and national sweepstakes. Selena Gomez, star of the Disney Channel program “Wizards of Waverly Place,” served as spokesperson.
At the website urvotescount.com, teens could chat live, watch videos, register for the GGP Club and follow polls and other information on an interactive map. A national online campaign was generated, including a Facebook fan page and outreach to teen bloggers. Teens who couldn’t get to the mall could vote via text.
In all, 150,000 teens voted, while the website received 1 million visitors. Over 125 million media impressions were generated in high-profile publications such as Seventeen, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.