YouthNoise Gets out Young Vote with Ads, New Mobile Video Service

They say today’s youth are savvier than ever, but YouthNoise is hoping the old reverse psychology trick works on them. To inspire its young adult members to vote this year, the activist social network is running pro-bono banners demanding, “Don’t Vote!” on MySpace, Delias,, Bolt, Yahoo and AOL’s teen section, Red. The organization’s site is also the first to promote Veeker, a new service that combines social messaging, mobile phones and video.

“These are edgy attempts to raise awareness and bring young people into the site and get a better understanding of why it would be important to vote in the midterm elections,” said YouthNoise CEO Ginger Thomson of the ad campaign. By edgy, she means taglines suggesting young adults don’t vote “Because I like rich, old, white men telling me what to do,” “Because I like 90% of my paycheck going to taxes,” and “Because I’m so homophobic I can’t even touch myself.”

“This is to appeal to a youth generation rather than a political persuasion,” Thomson said, adding, “We tried to really present a balanced perspective.” The ads, which were launched a little over a week ago, were created in-house, according to Thomson, who said Modem Media is handling the media placement for the campaign on a pro-bono basis.

YouthNoise is a community of 16-24-year-olds that partners with nonprofits representing a variety of issues like education and AIDS awareness. When its membership base was measured two years ago, said Thomson, about 33 percent of so-called “Noisemakers” were eligible to vote; today “I would guess it’s more like 50 percent,” she continued.

The organization is also helping unveil just-launched mobile video messaging service, Veeker, aiming to inspire members to use the free service to shoot video snippets at political functions, and at polling places on election day. The “Veek the Vote” effort is intended to “get them to go to their local polling stations and shoot what’s going on down there,” said Roger Raderman, co-founder and chief marketing and product officer of Veeker, and co-founder of

The service allows users to send video from their phones to personal pages on the Veeker site, making them viewable by others in their Veeker networks. The videos, which are typically :30 to one minute in length, also are accessible on the pages of people in their networks, and can be sent from phone to Web in about a minute.

In the future, the mobile videos will be supported by advertising on the Veeker Web site, according to Raderman. No advertisers have signed on yet; however, Raderman believes, “We’re in a bit of a different position [than other social sites] because all the communication is private, between people who have chosen to connect with one another…. So we believe it’s a new opportunity for advertisers to get in front of user-generated communication.”

The wireless video firm is also promoting its messaging service at extreme sporting events and through existing communities at colleges in LA and San Francisco, said Raderman, adding, “The elections are coming up…. I think it’s a real powerful way to get to them.”

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