Every Kiwi Vote Counts
Client: Every Kiwi Vote Counts
Product: Every Kiwi Vote Counts
Title: Meddle in the New Zealand Election
Media: Social, PR, OOH
Country: New Zealand
Date Of Campaign: 30/09/2020 - 17/10/2020
Background: In July 2020, an independent, non-partisan initiative was set up to encourage overseas New Zealanders (known as ‘Kiwis’) to participate in New Zealand’s national Election on October 17. This would decide the parliament and leadership of the nation for the next three-year-term.Initially named iVoteNZ, it was founded on the belief that democracy only works if we are all part of it. New Zealand has one of the largest proportions of nationals living overseas, second only to Ireland. There are close to one million Kiwi overseas (the majority in Australia, followed by the UK and US) : That’s nearly another 20% of the country’s 5M population, including a quarter of our tertiary educated adults. So, you would certainly want to have their input on the future of the country. OUR OBJECTIVES Create maximum reach, cut-through and social currency Drive voter engagement and turnoutUltimately, increase voter impact
Idea: In order to effectively influence overseas non-voters we turned to the experts of online election influencing. Yes, we turned to the Russians. On 30 September 2020 (the day online registrations opened), our spokesperson, Viktor, kicked off the social campaign calling for overseas Kiwis to “meddle”, explaining that the process was easy and there was, “No need for a sneaky VPN.” Then, every day for 18 days, until election day, Viktor posted videos talking about how he “planned to hack… away to convince overseas Kiwis to vote” and or “touch data base… I mean… touch base” in order to get everyone to vote. His posts sent people directly to the right place to vote and called on overseas Kiwi celebrities to get involved. He even appeared in outdoor billboards in heavily Kiwi-populated cities such as London, to spread the word about how easy it was to “meddle”.
Results: Like all good Russian meddlers, Viktor got results. The campaign helped achieve the highest turnout of overseas voters on record, with a 42% increase in overseas voting. With over 80 million global impressions, the Electoral Commission said, “Every Kiwi Vote Counts undoubtedly mobilised resident overseas voters.” Viktor’s influencing was talked about and reposted by the likes of ShitYouShouldCareAbout (2.4 million followers) and former NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark. And overseas Kiwis thanked Viktor on for convincing them to vote, with one voting for the first time in 28 years. Overseas votes also disproportionately contributed to a historic Maori Party seat gain, with an increase of 60%, and contributed to the largest shift in electoral seats since 1999 - with the Northland Electorate seeing a change in party seat for the first time since 1938.