The Levi’s® brand has a long history of supporting authentic self-expression and social causes that define our times. Last year, the Levi’s® brand launched a comprehensive VOTE campaign to drive people to the polls by using their voice through their vote. Amplified efforts around the country led to the highest voter turnout for midterms in the U.S. since 1914.
This year, the Levi’s® brand in South Africa took a page out of the 2018 campaign playbook, launching its “It’s Your Voice, It’s Your Vote” campaign to encourage voters to get out and vote ahead of the country’s Election Day which fell on May 8.
Seeing an opportunity that only 33 percent of eligible South African youth voted in the 2014 election, the brand lent its voice in a drive with some of the most influential men and women from across the cultural sphere to increase voter awareness and turnout on Election Day. Key partners included DJ and producer Black Coffee, Actress Nomzamo Mbatha, rapper Rouge, TV presenters Maps Maponyane, Pabi Moloi and Katlego Maboe, Metro FM DJ Moflava, rocker Francois Van Coke, and Instagram influencer Qaanita Orrie.
I want to see a future where active citizenship is the order of the day, where we live and strive for freedom, not just in our words but in our actions. – Katlego Maboe
Through the #yourvoiceyourvote campaign, Levi’s® put its values into practice and encouraged young South Africans to take a stand and take action in the 2019 election – an important approach for a nation where the youth form the largest percentage of changemakers. And so, the brand set out to create a movement amongst the youth to challenge the indifference and empower change.
“Levi’s® is all about self-expression and during the election, the vote is the ultimate expression of one’s voice,” said Candace Gilowey, Head of Marketing at Levi Strauss South Africa. “We really wanted to get behind this and create a movement, particularly amongst the youth. There is power in them hearing this message coming from their favorite actress, musician or sportsperson and we were proud to partner with them to deliver it.”
As Katlego said in the campaign, “I want to help build a nation of young people who care about the future of the country and understand the power that a vote wields. I want to see a future where active citizenship is the order of the day, where we live and strive for freedom, not just in our words but in our actions. I want to see South Africa succeed and take its rightful place among nations, and it all starts with realizing and exercising the right and power to vote.”
While turnout was slightly down, voter registration went up in South Africa from the 2014 election cycle, a clear sign of things moving in the right direction. As Nomzamo emphasized in the campaign, “Your vote is your voice and power of choice of who gets to be accountable for systemic change. Put an X on it! Make your voice heard! Be a part of a generation that stands for something!”