From Tik Tok to the polling station: How to convince young people to go to the polls | Elections Quebec 2022

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From Tik Tok to the polling station: how to convince young people to go to the polls | Élections Québec 2022

The Cossette agency team had to rent a space in the Sandbox metaverse to create a unique place to display the Élections Québec billboard.

And if the key of youth turnout in provincial elections was actually in the metaverse?

You read that right. But the question is mainly rhetorical.

Élections Québec is indeed present in The Sandbox metaverse, thanks to the advertising campaign devised by the Cossette agency to encourage 18-44 year olds to protect themselves from their right to vote.

Concretely, this means that Cossette has rented a small plot of people there, explains creative director Richard Rochette-Villeneuve, where a place has been imagined and created, which includes a billboard bearing the effigy d'Élections Québec encouraging young people to vote on October 3.

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There is little information on the number of people who frequent the Sandbox metaverse, concedes Julie St-Arnaud Drolet, spokesperson for Élections Québec. A post from the company president said 350,000 people. But how many Quebecers? And how many people between 18 and 44? We don't have that data.

Elections Quebec and Cossette do not care, to know specifically how many avatars of Quebec origin, under the age of 44 moreover, will cross the famous billboard on their virtual way from here in the ballot. Rather, it is the viral potential of this posting that interests them.

“What you have to understand is that it is not the people of the metaverse that we are trying to reach, but all the voters. We think it can have viral potential and that, yes, it can get people talking about the elections and translate into the act of voting. »

— Julie St-Arnaud Drolet, spokesperson for Élections Québec

We are aware that this is an interesting move to get people talking about the campaign, adds Richard Rochette -Villeneuve.

But the campaign imagined by Cossette for Élections Québec obviously does not only include a posting in the metaverse; this is even a very small part of the rollout, which includes two TV commercials, two radio commercials, signage (in the real world) and increased social media presence, Facebook to Instagram, including, of course, Tik Tok.

We really tried to do everything possible to get young people interested in voting, it creates things completely different. And some things work very well, our first Tik Tok video went a little viral, says Mr. Rochette-Villeneuve.

Posted on August 30, the video in question had been viewed more than 113,000 times as of September 9, and had nearly 7,000 likes and 500 comments.

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@electionsquebec We love Indian wheat, but we love people who vote even more. #corn #elections2022 #TLMV #qc2022 #fyp ♬ It's Corn – Tariq & The Gregory Brothers' Recess Therapy

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So far so good! confirms the creative director. There are people contributing, collaborating, increasingly following our Tik Tok channel.

Opened a little over a week ago, the Élections Québec account had nearly 1,400 subscribers on September 9. We find it fun, it's great. But in the end, we will see the success of the campaign on election day, if people show up at the polls.

According to the statistics, the party doesn&#x27 ;is not won. For nearly 40 years, the participation rate has been declining among 18-44 year olds, according to the Research Chair on Democracy and Parliamentary Institutions at Université Laval.

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Élections Québec indicates that since 1985, the 18-34 age group has seen its participation rate decline more markedly than other age groups, regardless of region.

In 2018, for example, voters under the age of 35 voted in a proportion that is barely above the 50% mark, it is noted.

To explain this trend, Julie St-Arnaud Drolet mentions, in order of importance, five reasons taken from the results of a survey conducted in 2018:

  1. Loss of trust in elected officials and politics;
  2. Not liking any candidate, leader or party;
  3. Lack of information about candidates, parties and platforms;
  4. Not feeling concerned about the issues;
  5. Logistics, such as lack of time.

We see that the heart of the problem is linked to the perception of elected officials or the lack of knowledge of voters on the issues, she comments. This is where we must remember that electoral participation is a responsibility that is shared between several actors in society.

When we look at the reasons given by the young people not to vote, we can still see that there are limits to what an electoral administration like Élections Québec can do to stimulate participation. There are other actors in society who must also contribute.

In this sense, Julie St-Arnaud Drolet believes that the campaign set up by Cossette responds to this impression of inaccessibility that young adults can sometimes have in relation to politics.

“It's something you sometimes hear from young people, or even more mature adults, they have the perception that it's for intellectuals , the vote, whether it is for experts or people who have university studies. »

—Julie St-Arnaud Drolet, spokesperson for Élections Québec

It's really something that picks us up in a more personal way, she admits. We really want people to know that voting is for everyone.

We rely on somewhat absurd humor, but certainly, for us, the voting is something important, precious and serious. By keeping the campaign simple, we want to give the impression that voting is accessible.

Remember that polling stations will be set up in more than 170 vocational training centers, CEGEPs, colleges and universities in Quebec. They will be open on September 23, 27 and 28, usually between 9:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., as well as on September 29, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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