The NBC News Group is urging its viewers to vote in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. It’s a move reminiscent of MTV’s partnership with the Rock the Vote organization in the 1990s which encouraged Generation X to vote. This campaign includes NBC News’ first joint PSA campaign.
The PSA was released this morning—78 days before the 2020 general election and on the morning of the 2020 Democratic National Convention—featuring NBC News and MSNBC talent, and it will direct consumers to Plan Your Vote, an interactive tool from the company that helps viewers determine when and how they can vote in the 2020 election, by detailing each state’s Covid-19 restrictions, mail-in ballot information, early voting and other key information.
So what is the Plan Your Vote tool? It’s a state-by-state guide to mail-in voting and early in-person voting meant to help Americans plan how and when they’ll vote in the 2020 presidential election, by researching the options where they live. The site includes info like deadlines to register in each state, whether a photo ID is required and how to apply for a mail-in ballot, as well as a countdown clock for days left to register, mail in a ballot—for states where that is applicable—and Election Day itself.
Adweek TV/media editor Jason Lynch recently spoke with NBC News chief marketing officer Aaron Taylor, who said that he and MSNBC boss Phil Griffin had long been interested in creating an NBC News version of Rock the Vote.
“We wanted to, in a non-partisan way, inform and educate viewers and let them know that they need a game plan if they’re going to be able to vote safely, and if they’re going to be able to vote in time so that their votes are counted,” said Taylor. “Instead of just trying to figure out what our ‘Rock the Vote’ was, we had the opportunity to provide a service.”
Who are the talent involved in the upcoming linear spots? The names you’d expect—including NBC’s Lester Holt and Chuck Todd, and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, Willie Geist, Stephanie Ruhle, Ali Velshi, Nicolle Wallace, Ari Melber, Joy Reid, Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell and Brian Williams. The spots begin airing on both NBC and MSNBC tonight, during the first night of the DNC.
After the Democratic and Republican conventions, the campaign will expand to include more talent from NBC News, MSNBC and even the broader NBCUniversal portfolio.
NBC News worked on the campaign with its agency, Arts & Letters Creative Co. of Richmond, Va.