AKQA, HBO, Rock the Vote and Civic Nation Don’t Want You to Sit Out This Election

By Erik Oster 

AKQA teamed up with HBO, Rock the Vote and Civic Nation to launch a star-studded plea for viewers to “Use Your Voice. Use Your Vote.”

The spot opens up with Issa Rae, creator, star and co-writer of new HBO series Insecure, asking, “Can we talk about real power?”

“Real power is made sitting here talking to you,” adds Bryan Cranston, who stars as LBJ in HBO’s All The Way biopic and, of course, is best known for his portrayal of Walter White—a character who knew a thing or two about power.

Other HBO stars, including Martin Starr (perhaps best know as Bill Haverchuck on Freaks and Geeks, one of the best characters in television history) and Jimmy O. Yang of Silicon Valley, a handful of Ballers cast members and Gary Cole of Veep all add to the message, which is mostly a familiar one: just get out there and participate in democracy, already.


There does seem to be a specific focus on targeting young voters with the implication that armchair activism is ultimately meaningless if you don’t actually cast a ballot. Causes including environmental concerns and equality also get a shout out. Poorna Jagannathan, who starred in HBO’s The Night Of, summarizes the approach with her line, “We are the generation that will use our dialogue and our voices to make sure our conversations never stop.”

Now, can we discuss the Night Of finale, or is it too soon? (We liked it. People need to stop expecting perfect resolutions for everything.)