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Vice Joins Forces With J. Walter Thompson And Heyday To Engage Young, Voting-Age New Zealanders

Gamifying politics ahead of the 2017 general election

Vice Joins Forces With J. Walter Thompson And Heyday To Engage Young, Voting-Age New Zealanders

Youth media company VICE has collaborated with J. Walter Thompson and Heyday to gamify politics with a unique campaign designed to drive New Zealand youth to the polls in the Sept 23 general election.

With voting day around the corner, commentators are predicting a collective ‘youth yawn' across New Zealand, with 34 percent of 18-24 year olds still not enrolled to vote. That's a third of young people who could be missing out on the chance to have their say about their future. By contrast, more than 97 percent of New Zealanders over the age of 55 are enrolled to vote. 
Online game “Battle to the Beehive” is designed to help drive more engagement in the nation’s youth, conveying political battles in gaming language to help explore the electoral process, the parties, and the politicians fighting for supremacy in the Beehive.

‘Battle To The Beehive’ let's the player choose their political leader and fight their way to conquer New Zealand’s seat of power. To get there, politicians need to overcome ‘policy monsters’. Throughout the game, questions relating to vote enrolment and policy issues are put to the player, allowing them to be educated in a painless way.

“The game sits alongside VICE's election coverage, designed to cut through the campaign rhetoric to the issues that matter most for young New Zealanders. VICE's editorial series ‘For The Record’ goes beyond key politicians' promises to check how they actually vote in parliament. We sat down for a video interview with Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern, travelled the country asking young people their views on politics for the VICELAND census, and our 6-part video series ‘We Are New Zealand’ looks at identity and what it means to be a New Zealander today,” said Frances Morton, Editor VICE New Zealand.

“Getting cut through to disengaged youth voters needs creativity. VICE, as the media choice of young people, is the perfect champion of youth engagement. Letting people do battle against policy monsters seemed like the perfect way to get a difficult to engage audience to participate and understand the power of their vote,” said Justin Barnes, Executive Creative Director at J. Walter Thompson New Zealand.

Battle to the Beehive will be live until election day, with support through digital out-of-home, digital display, social media, and eDM marketing.

J. Walter Thompson is part of WPP AUNZ, Australasia’s leading marketing communications group.