Name Dropping: Justin Bieber

Traditional Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts usually include activities like running telephone banks, transporting voters to-and-from polling stations, and canvassing street corners. In the age of digital communications, however, all this has changed. Certainly candidates and political interest groups are using social networking sites like Facebook to help drive turnout. But now they’re using these sites in a different way.

According to a report in Politico, the best way to communicate your message is to connect it to t(w)eener heartthrob Justin Bieber.  “Just last week,” Politico reports, “rumors spread that Bieber’s fan base was so active on Twitter that the microblogging website has servers dedicated just to him.”

Lesson: if you want to make your political message heard, you need to do a little (Justin Bieber) name-dropping.

That’s what a saavy new college spin-off of the Center for American Progress – Campus Progress – decided to do by launching a video ad, “asking you to vote for celebrities who can’t, celebrities like Jutin Bieber.”  While most of Bieber’s fans are too young to vote, too, the idea is that viewers will watch the ad and encourage parents, relatives and older friends to get to the polls.

Sometimes shameless name-dropping has a purpose.