New Multimedia PSA Campaign Urges ‘Vote And Complain’
October 8, 2012 by Screenmag
There are truisms, and then there are “really truisms.” And one of them is the notion that a person doesn’t have the right to complain, if he or she didn’t bother to vote. Democrat, Republican, or fiercely Independent - it is a rally cry that transcends political affiliations. And yet while the number of complainers continues to increase, those who express their feelings in the voting booth continues to decrease.
It is with this in mind that Chicago-based ad/marketing specialists Third Street Advertising conceived the idea of launching a national, multimedia campaign entitled Real Complainers Vote – a non-partisan effort designed to encourage young registered voters to embrace two American privileges: Voting and Complaining. To achieve this goal, they teamed up with frequent collaborator, Foundation Content.
“We know that we don’t need to convince Americans to complain,” says Third Street Chief Creative Officer David T. Jones. “We only need to convince them that complaining has a cover charge. And that cover charge is voting. Foundation Content has been a true creative partner to Third Street since we started, but even with our big expectations they over-delivered with layers and layers of ideas executed brilliantly. At one point, we were in the Foundation studio up to our elbow in cut-out stencils, funny paper constructions, rope, ribbon and an overall sense that we were creating something pretty cool.“
Featuring the voice talents of TJ Miller and the artistic expressions of renowned street artist Ray Noland, Real Complainers Vote takes a “seriously humorous” look at how our nation isn’t just comprised of complainers; it was founded and built by them. Through a unique viral video, Tweets, Facebook posts, a website to find outlets for complaining, and street-level campaign materials ranging from posters to campaign buttons, Real Complainers Vote seeks to motivate young voters across the USA to express themselves where it matters most – in the voting booth -- on November 6th.
The themes of “Hands-On” and “Handmade” were two ideas that guided the development of Foundation Content’s Real Complainers Vote animated video. Since this project is all about empowering the individual to vote, Foundation Content looked into incorporating some of the visual landscape associated with grass roots and DIY movements like Occupy. The company decided to explore making things that would appear within the viral video out of paper and cardboard, as well as using a stop-motion style for some of the animation. It was important to "pull back the curtain" a bit on the process, to show the human element behind some of the animation, and likewise provide some human perspective to a political process that can feel overwhelming.
“Bringing the street art style of Ray Noland and the bizarre comedy outlook of TJ Miller to our project gave it a true social momentum,” says Third Street Associate Creative Director Max Mearsheimer. “A lot of PSAs about getting out the vote have been made - and too often they just don't stand out. Our take was to try a different approach and sell the merits of complaining - really celebrating complaining - as a path to motivation to vote."
Foundation Content’s Kyle Shoup, served as Creative Director and Motion Designer for the Real Complainers Vote project.
“David from Third Street approached us because he was a big fan of the piece we did for Contagion, and I wanted to take the opportunity to make something just as fun, but unique,” Shoup says. “The result was a piece that incorporated stop-motion, handmade, 2D & 3D design and animation. Mixed media is really what this piece became, and it gives the message an unusual (and I think compelling) look. I was extremely appreciative of how David let us run with the script, developing our own visual jokes and puns from our interpretation. I really enjoy humor in design, and I admire a successful design that can incorporate comedy. Playful visual hooks will stick with you, and you're more likely to remember the message of the piece because watching it becomes a fun, participatory experience. Hopefully, Real Complainers Vote will connect with our audience, and they will find that both voting and complaining are rewarding aspects of their personal political participation.”
“I was really excited to collaborate with Ray Noland (aka C.R.O.),” he continued. “I knew he was already locked into the world of political commentary through his prolific street art around Chicago, and that his handmade approach would lead to some unique visuals inside of the piece. Ray and I discussed the script and some of the initial ideas we had, and he then began to create for a solid two weeks as an artist in residence within our studio. In the end, it was my job to take the resulting pieces and decide how best to integrate them with some of the elements that I developed into a cohesive narrative. I think Real Complainers Vote ultimately benefits from the variety of visual elements and textures we wove together, making it a truly mixed-media piece.”
This type of project is at the core of Foundation’s capabilities, says Samantha Hart, the company’s Co-Founder/Chief Creative Officer.
“This is the type of project that lives within the DNA of our company,” she says. “We enjoyed co-developing this campaign with Third Street, fleshing out their creative concept and producing the animated piece that appears on the realcomplainersvote.com website. Originally, we wanted to create something that would take full advantage of the facility we have at Foundation in Chicago, which would include production and the use of our stage. For the first two weeks, our stage was an artists' studio and laboratory, and then it became a production studio for capturing some of these elements. Foundation is set up for this kind of collaborative flexibility, and we took full advantage of it. We are involved in public service announcement campaigns on a regular basis, because a strong aspect of our company’s mandate is to ‘give back’ to the community. We feel that encouraging people to get out there and vote on November 6 is critically important.”
To view the animated, viral video within this campaign, see: http://realcomplainersvote.com/
Real Complainers Vote on Facebook at: www.Facebook.com/RealComplainersVote Follow the Griping on twitter at: @complainersvote.
Third Street Advertising Credits: Chief Creative Officer: David T. Jones Associate Creative Director: Max Mearsheimer Director of Relationship Marketing: Phil Robinson Attention Agent: Brittany Mason Foundation Content Production Credits: Executive Producer: Samantha Hart Creative Director/Motion Designer/3D Artist: Kyle Shoup Artist: Ray Noland Editor: Steve Morrison Mixer: Dave Kresl Associate Producer: Lily Tomczak