IRVINE, CA: An experimental campaign for prepaid mobile brand Boost that departed from category norms improved sales and brand health metrics with no media budget – and won an effectiveness award at the Cannes Lions Festival.

In a category which relies heavily on promotions to attract customers, Boost came up with the idea of turning its stores into voting stations in the 2016 election.

Reasoning that its stores are located in high-traffic areas in low-income and minority neighborhoods – communities with few polling locations – and that the brand was a mainstay provider in these communities, it “saw a unique opportunity to foil a prevalent form of voter suppression”.

Low-income Black and Hispanic workers are significantly more likely to have difficulty in finding their polling station and to wait for longer to vote when they get there – all disincentives for an hourly paid worker to take part.

The brand’s efforts to persuade election officials to approve the move found acceptance in Chicago, Atlanta, and across Southern California.

The Boost Your Voice campaign efforts then relied on store signage, social media content and word of mouth – a grassroots approach that broke through on channels the audience trusted, including minority-owned media, YouTube LIVE, and friends and family.

While Black voter turnout was expected to be lower in 2016, in the Black and Hispanic neighborhoods where Boost stores activated, voter turnout actually increased by 23%.

As well as attracting voters, these stores found commercial success, with an average 29% lift

There were also signs that initiatives like Boost Your Voice could strengthen relationships with existing customers, as satisfaction scores likelihood to recommends scores climbed.

180LA, the agency behind the campaign observed that, in a competitive category, Boost Your Voice represented an alternative approach for smaller brands losing the fight for attention on TV: “fight for your customers’ rights in streets and feeds”.

Sourced from Cannes Creative Lions