The Electoral Commission launch national campaign ahead of the General Election Posted on


17th March, 2015

Nearly 7 in 10 people don’t know the deadline to register to vote

DLKW Lowe and The Electoral Commission have launched a major public awareness campaign to remind people they must register to vote by the April 20 deadline if they want to take part in the General Election.

The campaign features the TVC entitled “WHAT!” and digital activity – including adverts on catch-up TV and Facebook. The watchdog’s campaign seeks to address under-registration in an engaging way by using the concept of ‘loss aversion’ from behavioural economics. In certain situations people are more likely to be motivated by realising they may lose something, than the prospect of making a gain.

The TV ad “WHAT!” was directed by Paul Gay of RSA Films (Volkswagen ‘Lamp            Post’, Dulux ‘Plasticine’). Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU98-TeparI

Filmed on location with a mix of actors and members of the public captured on hidden cameras, the ad shows people’s reaction to being stopped doing everyday activities they thought they were able to. From disgruntled joggers being denied access to the park to surprised shoppers being rejected from using a supermarket basket. The message, as someone is turned away from being able to vote in the final scene, is simple: You can’t vote, unless you’re registered by 20 April.

The campaign directs people to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote where they can complete an application form in a matter of minutes. 2015 marks the first General Election where people can register to vote online; previously voters had to print out, fill in and post a form to the Electoral Registration Officer at their local authority. In the research conducted by YouGov, over half (53%) of 18-24 year olds didn’t know that they could register online.

Michael Abbott, Head of Campaigns at the Electoral Commission, said: ‘We don’t want anyone to be told ‘no’ on polling day, so we were keen for our campaign to make people sit up and take notice. We know that people can be more likely to take action if they think they’re going miss out, and DLKW Lowe have found a great way of bringing that feeling to life in an engaging way and encouraging visits to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote