Vote.org tries static billboards, print ads in college papers and SMS to reach the unreachable

How do you reach a demographic that doesn’t watch cable TV, blocks online ads and isn’t too keen on email, for a product that has a hard launch date?

That, essentially, is the marketing challenge faced by Vote.org, a non-profit and non-partisan organization. It is trying to reach young voters, such as students, people of color and voters who voted for the first time in the last presidential election, all toward the “product launch” date of the mid-term US election on November 6.

Why these groups? The first two categories tend to undervote in proportion to their population, but the latter category, Vote.org COO Raven Brooks told me, is a focus because his organization is trying to encourage a habit of voting. If they voted in 2016 and again in these mid-terms, he said, they are 55 percent more likely to vote again in later elections.

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