MTV Launches New Election Campaign: "Power of 12"
Network to Unveil First-of-its-Kind "Fantasy Election" Game
2012 Election Coverage Kicks Off with GOP Candidates in MTV News Special "Our Voice" Premiering Tuesday, December 20
MTV Goes Inside the Lives of Presidential Hopefuls in the Documentary "When I was 22" Premiering in 2012
NEW YORK, Dec. 19, 2011 -- MTV today unveiled the first phase of its 2012 Election campaign, "Power of 12," which aims to inform and engage young voters and amplify their voices throughout the 2012 elections. On-air, the network will premiere "Our Voice," an MTV News Short-form Documentary with Andrew Jenks that brings the voices of young voters directly to Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and other GOP candidates and "When I was 22," an MTV News documentary that will give viewers a unique portrait of select Presidential candidates. Online, MTV plans to release a first-of-its-kind game, "Fantasy Election '12" which will mirror the mechanics of popular "fantasy" games for football or baseball, and today launched the campaign hub, Powerof12.org. Powerof12.org offers young voters a "what it means for you" take on the candidates, issues and election news, as well as quick and easy voter registration. Additionally, MTV News will begin its coverage of the election on the ground in Iowa and New Hampshire, with documentary filmmaker Andrew Jenks and MTV News Correspondent Sway Calloway helming MTV's "Power of 12" political news coverage. Additional campaign elements will be announced leading up to the 2012 election.
Building on MTV's nearly 20-year Emmy and Peabody Award-winning political legacy with "Choose or Lose," MTV's "Power of 12" campaign is built specifically to reflect the Millennial generation and changes in the economic and political climate, and is designed to empower them to have a major impact on Election Day and beyond. 45 million 18-29 year olds will be eligible to vote in the 2012 election, representing the largest potential voting bloc in the country. However, according to recent Pew Research data, only 13 percent of Millennials have given a lot of thought to the 2012 candidates, down from 28 percent in 2007, and markedly lower than other age groups.
"Through their sheer size, Millennials have the power to be a deciding factor in the 2012 elections and help set the country's direction," said Stephen Friedman, President of MTV. "Our goal for the 'Power of 12' is to encourage candidates to tap into the power of the largest generation in history and respond to their concerns."
Details on the initial elements of MTV's "Power of 12" include:
"Fantasy Election '12" - For the first time ever, MTV will build a game layer on top of the election and offer young people a new way to become power players in the electoral process. Similar to popular "fantasy" games for football or baseball, users will draft a team of candidates pursuing the Presidency, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. In the way that Fantasy Football awards points when your players score touchdowns and deducts points when they throw interceptions, "Fantasy Election '12" will reward candidates for exhibiting the behaviors voters deserve, and penalize politicians for behaviors that hurt our democracy. Additionally, users will be rewarded for getting involved with Election '12 - earning bonus points for actions like registering to vote, "checking-in" to debates and town hall events, and discussing issues with friends. The game will launch closer to the kick-off of the general election, with more details to be announced.
"Our Voice" - MTV will premiere a first-person MTV News documentary on-air and online by Andrew Jenks that takes the temperature of young voters and brings their concerns and priorities directly to the GOP Presidential candidates. The short-form piece chronicles 25-year-old Jenks' journey across America as he spends time with a cross-section of his peers, and heads out on the campaign trail, posing questions to candidates including Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and John Huntsman. The documentary will premiere on-air Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 4:54pm ET/PT, and will be available online at www.powerof12.org.
"When I was 22" - In early 2012, MTV News will premiere the documentary "When I was 22," which will give viewers a unique look inside the lives of the Presidential candidates when they were 22 years old. Each episode will paint a portrait of a candidate at a younger age, focusing on their dreams, triumphs, setbacks and the moments of resiliency that ultimately shaped their world view.
Powerof12.org - MTV today unveiled a new Web site that will feature a stream of the election news that is most relevant to its audience, snapshot views of the political candidates, easy-to-understand primers on the major issues that affect young people in the election, and information for first-time voters. The site also features an easy-to-use voter registration tool from Rock the Vote, plus clear information on registration deadlines, polling locations, and more. In the months ahead, additional tools and features will be added to make it easy for young people to get informed and to make their voices heard.
MTV News Coverage: As always, MTV News will be on-the-ground, covering the major political events leading up to and following election 2012. MTV News Correspondent Sway Calloway and documentary film-maker Andrew Jenks will be helming MTV's "Power of 12" coverage, and will be on the ground starting with their coverage for the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary and will be on the ground throughout the year.
For more information on MTV's "Power of 12" campaign, or details on how to get involved, please visit www.Powerof12.org.
About Andrew Jenks:
Filmmaker Andrew Jenks, 25, began his career with HBO's Room 335, followed by The Zen of Bobby V for ESPN. His docu-series "World of Jenks" debuted on MTV in 2010. The series showcased the lives of inspirational young people who face difficult odds, and a second season is currently in production.
MTV is the world's premier youth entertainment brand. With a global reach of more than a half-billion households, MTV is the cultural home of the millennial generation, music fans and artists, and a pioneer in creating innovative programming for young people. MTV reflects and creates pop culture with its Emmy(R), Grammy(R) and Peabody(R) award-winning content built around compelling storytelling, music discovery and activism across TV, online and mobile. MTV's sibling networks MTV2 and mtvU each deliver unparalleled customized content for young males, music fans and college students, and its online hub MTV.com is a leading destination for music, news and pop culture. MTV is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.