Election season is most certainly upon us. Over sixty-six million Americans have already cast their votes for the 2020 Presidential election, and many are quick to argue that this race has redefined American politics. What’s becoming increasingly clear, however, is the degree to which this election is redefining culture at large, not least of all popular culture.
Influencer Efficacy in 2020
The pandemic has revealed to social media users all over the world just how beneficial remote connection can be.
Proof is in the indisputable uptick of Instagram Live streaming among content creators and celebrities alike. Ben Jeffries of The Drum credits this to our strong yearning for both authenticity and connection. Influencers abandoned their polished and strategic Instagram grids to engage more directly with followers.
“As such,” writes Jeffries, new features like Instagram Live have “become more popular with creators who are using [them] to connect with their audience, streaming their thoughts and feelings directly to their audiences. We love this shift and are behind creators sharing more ‘real’ content of their lives during lockdown, and going forward.”
As it turns out, the future of Instagram engagement among both influencers and celebrities would soon blur the line between pop culture — what we might have previously written off as “fluff” Internet content — and politics.
On both sides of the political spectrum, we’ve seen public figures use their large platforms to advocate for the causes and candidates that they support.
According to Barbara Sprunt at NPR, “People ages 18 to 29 are turning out to vote early in a big way.” This year, the Millennial/Generation Z demographic makes up an estimated 37% of eligible voters. Historically, young people have had relatively low voter turnout, but it’s clear that 2020 will be different.
Due in large part to higher political engagement on social media, more 18-29 year olds are inspired and empowered to vote this year. For many users, this isn’t surprising. The sheer number of resources and reminders available on our feeds is hard to ignore, and that’s exactly the point.
Kim Lyons comments on The Verge, “Snapchat is preparing to launch new features next month to encourage users to register to vote in the upcoming US election and provide information and resources aimed at voter participation. It’s bringing back the voter checklist card — with information on where and how to register — that it debuted ahead of the 2018 midterms, which Snap says helped more than 450,000 users with voter registration for that election.”
This has been even more necessary this year, since registration drives and voter resources are no longer available on college campuses. With much of the country learning remotely, social media platforms are stepping up to provide information about registration, absentee ballots, etc.
And again, this new level of voter efficacy is trendy. “Voting is cool” has become the social media mantra, not only of high-profile celebrities and influencers, but of everyday social media users as well. Resources are constantly being shared to Instagram stories. Reminders are only ever a swipe away.
Fossil VOTE Merch: Echoing the Trend
Brands have noticed the ever-increasing trendiness of voter efficacy this year as well and have used their platforms to communicate with consumers the same way influencers communicate with followers.
AMP3 client, Fossil is the perfect example. A new line of voter swag dropped earlier last month, just in time for the upswing of civic engagement online and at the polls.
First up is their Chambray Vote Embroidered Unisex Face Mask.
A great little reminder for you as you mask up before leaving the house! Face masks are a necessity these days, whether you’re heading back to the office, running errands, or standing in line to vote early. Chambray has always been a chic and casual go-to, but this embroidered design elevates your election-season look, while still reminding everyone around you that civic pride has never been more stylish.
Plus, Fossil will donate 25% of each vote mask purchase to Team Rubicon Disaster Response, who is on the ground right now helping survivors impacted by Hurricanes Laura, Sally, Delta, and Zeta.
Next, we have Fossil’s Vote Gold-Tone Stainless Steel Pendant Necklace.
This classic piece is the perfect way to accessorize day-to-day. We can wear it all year round to remind us of the power of democracy.
One reviewer said the pendant exceeded her expectations: “I have been layering this piece every day, and I can’t wait to wear it when I vote on November 3rd.” Voter efficacy and accessory layering: two big trends, all in one!
Finally, we have the Pintrill® x Fossil Go Vote Pin.
Its retro design will liven up any look, from jean jackets to backpacks, and its call-to-action messaging will make you an active inspiration. Let your patriotic pin be a reminder of your American responsibility.
It will be interesting to observe the first post-election Internet trend, but as for November, we’ll chalk this one up to the power of social media for creating positive change.
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