MTV urges youth to Rock The Vote!


I think suddenly this year more than ever talking politics has become cool. Earlier parents used to talk politics and you were like, "This is boring stuff. I want to talk Bollywood and Cricket.” Today, your parents are talking politics at the dinner table and you’re jumping in and updating them about the latest happenings that you read on Facebook or Twitter. So I think the power centre at home has moved to the younger generation.’ said Aditya Swamy, EVP and Business Head, MTV India addressing a hundred odd college-goers at the MTV Rock The Vote evening. It also explains MTV’s election fixation leading up to the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

At Mumbai's Canvas Laugh Factory, MTV in association with Hero MotoCorp, played host to RockTheVote. A comedy gig followed two back-to-back panel discussions that urged the youth to vote.

The first panel discussion saw TV host Jose Covaco join Rishi Jaitly, Head, Twitter India, Aditya Swamy, Bobby Pawar, CCO, Publicis, Anup Gandhi, Owner, Bonobo and novelist Ira Trivedi pitch voting to the youth in attendance. The Q&A session veered from questions like ‘Who do I vote for?’ to ‘What if my leader doesn’t live up to his promises after I vote.’

[caption id="attachment_7223" align="aligncenter" width="294"] The MTV #RockTheVote panelists take a selfie[/caption]

The second panel discussion was a rather eventful affair. Dhiraj Nayyar, CEO of the Think India Foundation and Editor-at-large moderated a panel of three politicians – Shaina NC from the BJP, Meera Sanyal representing the Aam Aadmi Party and Sanjay Jha from the Congress. Current affairs, national issues and party agendas were discussed amid some friendly banter between the leaders.

A hilarious Improv act by Schitz en Giggles closed the event.

The evening was a part of the channel’s larger integrated campaign under the same name. Over the past few months, the channel has used TV spots, crowd-sourced videos from college campuses, a web series (sponsored by Karbonn Mobile), comedy sketches, satires and even comic strips to engage with the youth.

The campaign has also been amplified on social media through MTV’s partnership with Twitter. Audience can join the conversation by following the #RockTheVote hashtag. Along with this, the channel is also encouraging the youth to take ‘selfies’ after casting their vote. For everyone without a smartphone, calling a hotline number will deliver key tweets from #RockTheVote hashtag through SMS.

‘Twitter was invented on SMS eight years ago. We think that it can really give everyone on the planet an opportunity to express and converse in real-time.  And Twitter isn’t all about tweeting. It’s also about listening. You can listen to what people have to say about various things. And when you listen, you become wiser. With our partnership with MTV, we hope people can listen to all the conversations around the elections and form their own opinions.’ Said Rishi Jaitly.

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