MTV to Rock Mid-Terms With Campaign in VMAs

MTV, which for decades has urged young viewers to Rock the Vote during presidential years, is launching its first mid-term election campaign during Monday night’s Video Music Awards telecast. 

The new campaign, called “+1 the Vote” will enable young people to register to vote, identify friends that aren’t registered and encourage them to sign up to participate in the Nov. 6 election.

MTV is also encouraging young people to exercise their citizenship with 1,000 parties and events at polling places in 50 states.

The campaign is being supported by artists, activists and non-partisan organizations including the Ford Foundation, Alliance for Youth Organizing, CIRCLE, part of Tisch College at Tufts University, Democracy Works’s TurboVote and #VoteTogether.

+1 the Vote was developed based on MTV/AP-NORC research showing that young people feel a renewed sense of empowerment in their ability to impact politics. The research found that 48% of 15- to 22-year-olds feel they have at least some effect on the government, up from 33% in March and that friendship is a powerful driver of voter turnout. Additional MTV research found that that 76% of young people think inviting friends to the polling station is an effective way to encourage others to vote, while 70% think posting about voting on social media is also effective. 

“Our audience relies on their friends in both the smallest and most meaningful moments in their lives,” said Chris McCarthy, president of MTV. “+1 the Vote is designed to draw on the power of friendship to turn out the youth vote and impact this critical midterm election.”

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.