The European Elections campaign 2019 succeeded in being one of the factors behind the first ever rise in voter turnout since the first elections to the European parliament in 1979.
Within a matter of weeks, the campaign film generated more than 135 million views on social media alone. Cinemas all across Europe contributed and showed the film. 84 national tv-channels aired a tv-version more than 2500 times altogether (plus the coverage by regional channels). The biggest media in Europe did editorial coverage on the campaign (Forbes, Guardian, Spiegel, Le Figaro, Bild, Politico, Le Monde and many, many more), and it became the object of news and panel discussions on many of Europe’s biggest tv-channels.
Eventually, the 2019 elections attracted its highest voter turnout in two decades. An unbelievable 18,6 % rise from 43 to 51 %. And while voter turnout never comes down to one or even a few deciding factors, of course, two days after the elections, the president, Antonio Tajani, personally thanked the campaign for the turnaround and the unexpected and incredible turnout.
Voter turnout had been declining since the very first election in 1979 and hit a low point in 2014 with only 43 % showing up to vote. The role of this campaign was to make Europeans stand together and vote in the European Elections 2019.
With Brexit, the rise of fake news, populism, and nationalism, the European project felt fragile in the time leading up to the elections.
Commissioned by the Parliament, the brief was not to create a political campaign about who and what to vote for, but a democratic campaign about why we (should) vote.
The ambition was a 360º campaign with TV, social media and press, but taking the huge and diverse target group of 400 million eligible European voters into consideration, the means were limited. Most of the exposure had to be earned.
A survey revealed that 80 % of Europeans believe that what unites Europe is more important than what separates us. But it also showed that many have worries or doubt regarding the future of Europe. Climate change, migration, terrorism and many more global issues makes the future feel uncertain.
The strategy was to give a positive perspective for the future, even with the huge challenges we face globally, because the European Union is our hope for tackling these problems together.
In a threatening world, we needed a message of hope for solving these issues, and the
biggest act of hope and will to believe in a better future is putting a child into this world. But we all know this, we’ve heard it a thousand times, so the idea was to show it: A documentary film about the coming generations of Europe. Very literally speaking. We filmed the intense and raw beauty of new Europeans being born, all across Europe, right before the elections.
Paid, owned and earned media was planned to amplify each other. The narrative for the social film was designed to carry a big press push in all 27 EU countries and was again supported by shorter films for TV and cinema, radio, print, online and an ambitious ground game with hundreds of thousands of volunteers.
Within a matter of weeks, the long version of the film was seen more than 135 million times on social media alone. It was shared, commented and liked more than 600.000 times, and the campaign spread to other media. 84 national tv-channels agreed to air a shorter version of the film and did so almost 2500 times (plus a lot of regional channels). Cinemas all across Europe also contributed and showed the film before their feature. The campaign was covered by all the biggest media in Europe like Forbes, Guardian, Spiegel, Le Figaro, Bild, Politico, Le Monde and many, many more. It became the object of news and panel discussions on some of Europe’s biggest tv-channels like Rai 1, France 2, France 5, Sky News, Sky tg24, TF1, La7, SVT, TMC, EPT 1 and many more.
Radio, print, online and an ambitious ground game with hundreds of thousands of volunteers supported the campaign across Europe.
On top of this, the film surfaced in unexpected places: In all public transportation in Riga, projected onto buildings in Europe’s culture capital of 2019, Plovdiv, endorsed by John Kerry on Twitter, on the official site of the German government, and in countless other places.
With the first rise in voter turnout since the very first election in 1979, the election attracted its highest voter turnout in two decades. An unbelievable 18,6 % rise from 43 to 51 %. And while voter turnout never comes down to one or even a few deciding factors, of course, two days after the elections, the president, Antonio Tajani, personally thanked the campaign for the turnaround and the unexpected and incredible turnout.