HSAN, CPX hook up for vote

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The youth-focused campaign taps celebrity figures, including urban artists, to encourage voting
The youth-focused campaign taps celebrity figures, including urban artists, to encourage voting

To encourage young people to reg­ister to vote in the upcoming presidential election, online ad network CPX Interac­tive has teamed up with nonprofit organi­zation Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) to launch an online campaign called “Vote for it! '08.”

The Vote for it! '08 campaign includes a PSA video and dedicated Web site at www.voteforit08.org. The campaign's concept grew from CPXample, the ad net­work's philanthropic division, said Mike Seiman, CEO of CPX Interactive.

The campaign officially launched on July 9. “It's hot,” said Russell Simmons, HSAN's chairman and the cofounder of Def Jam Recordings, after watching the PSA during the campaign's launch party in New York.

Young people, Simmons stressed, are the ones who have the “vision” to create change, adding that “the rest of the world is watching.”

HSAN ran campaigns encouraging young people to vote during the last presi­dential election and this year's primaries, said Valeisha Butterfield, executive direc­tor of HSAN.

“Before, it was heavily based on grass roots initiatives [including] youth vote summits and rallies,” said Butterfield.

However, HSAN wanted to ramp up its online presence this time around, she said. “It was important for us to evolve with the times and partner with a com­pany like CPX Interactive to expand the program, to really focus on online and viral marketing,” Butterfield said. HSAN still plans to run a number of event-based programs before the November election, she added.

“The idea was basically to put together a Web site where we can push young voters to go and register to vote, to learn about how to get involved in voting,” Seiman explained. “As you know, there's a lot of youth out there who don't really get involved much — especially seniors in high school and college-aged kids.”

The PSA features a number of familiar faces from the music industry, including Simmons, LL Cool J, Ciara and Snoop Dogg, as well as Star Wars director George Lucas. Speakers in the PSA urge viewers to “vote for it” and remind them that “this is your country.”

CPX Interactive is using display ads to drive traffic to the Web site, while HSAN will be doing some outdoor marketing, said Seiman.

This is the first time CPX Interactive has collaborated with HSAN, although the ad network plans to work with Simmons on other projects, Seiman said.

First posted on YouTube on June 29, the “Vote for it! '08” video has garnered more than 700,000 views as of July 11. Time Warner Cable will also be airing the PSA across its network of channels in August, according to CPX Interactive.

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