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Special Project

Special Project
From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

HeadCount #GoVote 2014

Finalist in Ambassador & Celebrity Campaign


In 2014, HeadCount staged the largest organized Election Day social media push in history, with over 300 entertainers posting photo messages on their social platforms encouraging fans to turn out to the polls. The campaign included everyone from Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel to Linkin Park, Pearl Jam and Fergie. Rob Lowe, John Legend, and "Weird Al" Yankovic generated some of the highest levels of exposure. Russell Simmons, Dave Matthews, George Lopez and The Black Keys also scored some of the highest numbers of likes, shares and Re-Tweets. In all the campaign drove over 300,000 prospective voters to our election information hub, over 600,000 social media interactions, and nearly a half a billion social media impressions on Election Day.

Additionally, HeadCount's online and field work generated over 28,000 voter registrations in 2014.

Strategy and Execution

#GoVote was designed to make participation in the 2014 Midterm Elections a cultural event, impossible to ignore. The campaign engaged over 300 celebrities to use their social media platforms to promote civic engagement and drive clear, measurable objectives such as voter registration, pledges to vote, and visits to a mobile-friendly online election information hub.

Participants included a who's who of musicians, comics and actors. In addition to the aforementioned, the campaign also attracted participation by TI, Conan O'Brien, Jason Mraz, Perez Hilton, Norah Jones, Chaka Khan, Chance the Rapper, Bonnie Raitt, Allison Janney, Jack Johnson, Lewis Black, Joe Mantegna, Margaret Cho, Esperanza Spalding, Moby, Gregg Allman, Sarah Silverman, Jay Pharoah and Taran Killam of Saturday Night Live, Instagram celebrities David Lopez and Josh Clark, and every living member of The Grateful Dead.

The breadth of participants was unprecedented for a celebrity-centered social media initiative, and ensured that fans of every sort of music or entertainment were touched by the "#GoVote" message.

The results of the campaign bore that out. By combining the influence of pop entertainers with savvy social media, #GoVote resulted in over 600,000 social media interactions, an astounding figure considering that the 2014 election was widely ignored or disdained by much of the public.

Here's how the campaign worked: HeadCount organized musicians and entertainers to participate in a coordinated campaign that began with HeadCount enlisting acclaimed rock poster and tattoo artists to create original "#GoVote" artwork. Then, musicians, actors, online celebrities, and comedians posed for photos holding the art, and posted the photos on Election Day via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Each post included a link to HeadCount's online voter information portal.

The wave of these images on social media was impossible to ignore. USA Today, the Washington Post, TIME magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Fast Company, NPR, Buzzfeed, E! Online, and Mashable all devoted news coverage to it.

Each of the three targeted social media platforms was inundated, and the public responded. The total social media reach of the campaign was as follows: Facebook, 366,413,693 impressions; Twitter, 107,521,088 impressions; Instagram, 5,583,695 impressions, for a grand total on Election Day of 479,518,476 – nearly half a billion!

The more telling numbers, though, were the total interactions. Those totals were: Facebook, 425,283 (likes, shares and comments); Twitter, 27,860 (Re-Tweets and favorites); Instagram, 150,541 (likes and comments) – adding up to over 600,000.

In addition to massive social media reach, the campaign also generated 344,000 visits to HeadCount's online voter information hub.

While celebrities tweeting about an election is nothing new, this campaign marked the first time anyone tried to organize these efforts or put real and measurable purpose behind them. Each post drove voters to an online resource for voter information. Each was visual in nature. And each directly reached the fans of that specific celebrity.

HeadCount's 2014 campaign also resulted in a total of 28,053 voter registrations, 26,817 pledges to vote and 906,375,977 social media impressions, succeeding in blanket coverage across all social media platforms and generating national elite media coverage.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

HeadCount, FitzGibbon Media


Entry Credits