As the 2020 presidential election looms during the continued effects of coronavirus, even the act of voting has become a public health risk. That, combined with daily news stories sharing new obstacles to voting (such as slow mail times, removal of mail boxes and the closing of polling stations), has made the topic of voting a major concern for many. To encourage voting in a time where the barriers seem higher than ever before, companies are getting involved. Here are top examples from this week of brands unveiling their efforts around voting access and education:
- Old Navy made headlines this week for announcing it is encouraging its employees to work the polls this election season – and will pay them to do so. To further encourage participation, the brand is ensuring all hourly workers are compensated, regardless of whether they have a shift that day. Furthermore, Old Navy is implementing a “No Meetings Day” on Nov. 3, so corporate employees can get out and vote. An Old Navy spokesperson elaborated that they “felt this opportunity was a new and unique way to provide the opportunity and encouragement to our employees in stores across the country to become more involved in the democratic process without worrying about sacrificing a shift at work.”
- Reddit is using its first ever brand marketing campaign to call attention to the need for voting. The campaign, called ‘Up the Vote,’ uses Reddit’s notoriety to reveal there are 160 million votes a day on its platform, but only 140 million people voted in 2016. To help get voting numbers up this year, the campaign will go beyond billboards by creating ‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions in the fall on the Reddit website and app to remind people when voting deadlines are and push users to get out and vote.
- Clothing retailer, Banana Republic, is also launching a campaign to promote voter registration. It is partnering with Rock the Vote to amplify their services to customers. This year, this means signing up for email and text election reminders for those who are already registered and voter education for those preparing to register. Banana Republic will also be donating up to $25,000 in proceeds from a new line of ‘Vote for a Better Republic’ face masks.
2020 will certainly be one of the most divisive and heated elections the nation has ever known, but brands are not shying away from engaging. Even in a time when simply encouraging voting can be construed by some as taking a side of the aisle, many brands recognize that participation in elections is a vital right that celebrates democracy, regardless of political affiliation.