VICE and J. Walter Thompson launch game to engage young voting-age New Zealanders

5.jpgYouth media company VICE has collaborated with J. Walter Thompson New Zealand to gamify politics with a unique campaign designed to drive New Zealand youth to the polls in the Sept 23 general election. The campaign is an online game called 'Battle to the Beehive'.

With voting day around the corner, speculators are predicting a collective 'youth yawn' across New Zealand, with 34 percent of 18-24 year olds still not enrolled to vote. That's a third of young people who could be missing out on the chance to have their say about their future. By contrast, more than 97 percent of New Zealanders over the age of 55 are enrolled to vote.

Battle to the Beehive is designed to help drive more engagement in the nation's youth, conveying political battles in gaming language to help explore the electoral process, the parties, and the politicians fighting for supremacy in the Beehive.

Battle To The Beehive lets the player choose their political leader and fight their way to conquer New Zealand's seat of power. To get there, politicians need to overcome 'policy monsters'. Throughout the game, questions relating to vote enrolment and policy issues are put to the player, allowing them to be educated in a painless way.

"The game sits alongside VICE's election coverage, designed to cut through the campaign rhetoric to the issues that matter most for young New Zealanders. VICE's editorial series 'For The Record' goes beyond key politicians' promises to check how they actually vote in parliament. We sat down for a video interview with Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern, travelled the country asking young people their views on politics for the VICELAND census, and our 6-part video series 'We Are New Zealand' looks at identity and what it means to be a New Zealander today," said Frances Morton, Editor VICE New Zealand.

"Getting cut through to disengaged youth voters needs creativity. VICE, as the media choice of young people, is the perfect champion of youth engagement. Letting people do battle against policy monsters seemed like the perfect way to get a difficult to engage audience to participate and understand the power of their vote," said Justin Barnes, Executive Creative Director at J. Walter Thompson New Zealand.

VICE has also teamed up with a number of local outlets to help drive young people to enrolment, with a range of offers up for grabs from Karen Walker, Laneway Festival, Brothers Beer, Good as Gold, Burger Burger, Eighthirty Coffee and many, many (seriously, lots) more.

Battle to the Beehive will be live until election day, with support through digital out-of-home, digital display, social media, and eDM marketing.

For more of VICE's extensive New Zealand 2017 General Election coverage visit


Tim Garrick said:

Genuinely clever idea and brilliantly executed. Well done JWT.

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