Rock the Vote and Virgin America Want You to Register to Vote, In-Flight

New PSA aims to curb millennial apathy

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Killing some time on a Virgin America flight? Rock the Vote wants you to put the airline's in-flight Wi-Fi to good use by registering to vote.

Millennials make up the largest voting block, yet in 2012, only 46 percent of eligible millennials showed up to vote, compared to 69 percent of the baby boomer generation. Rock the Vote and Virgin America are attempting to reverse apathy within this age group with a new PSA which airs following the in-flight safety video on Virgin America flights, and then encourages people to register to vote via the in-flight Wi-Fi.

The spot is part of Rock the Vote's promotional efforts leading up to National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 27, the last day people can register to vote before individual state registration deadlines kick in. "Our goal is to get as many young people to register to vote as possible so we can impact the campaign up and down the ballot," said Luis Calderin, vp of marketing and creative at Rock the Vote.

The spot focuses on how voting gives people a chance to weigh in on issues that are important to them, like LGBT equality, gun control and clean energy.

"The intention was to drive home the issues that people care about and that, now more than ever, it's important to register and turn out to vote to affect those issues," Calderin said.

Virgin America began its partnership with Rock the Vote during the 2012 election, becoming the first airline to offer voter registration in the sky. "We thought it was important to remind travelers of the civic importance of voting," said Abby Lunardini, vp of brand marketing and communications at Virgin America. "Voting is our No. 1 civic responsibility, and making it easier and accessible for more people is an important thing to do."

The campaign continues Rock the Vote's tradition of appealing to young voters in innovative ways, which started with MTV PSAs starring Madonna in 1990. "It speaks to our evolving approach to reach young people where they are," Calderin said. "MTV was a hub for young people back in the '90s at the beginning of Rock the Vote, and now, there are so many more ways to reach millennial voters, like this one."

@ChristineBirkne Christine Birkner is a Chicago-based freelance writer who covers marketing and advertising.