Creative impulse

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Breaking this week in cinemas nationwide, a new campaign mounted by the Ministry of Sound organisation is seeking to draw the attention of 18- to 24-year-olds to the importance of voting (43 per cent of this age group did not vote in the last election).

Timed to coincide with the beginning of the party conference season, the ads feature real people expressing extreme views on such subjects as homosexuality, the welfare state, immigration and the role of women. Each film ends with the strapline "Use Your Vote - because you know he/she will". Six spots will run initially; a further two, one of them dealing with the issue of blood sports, have yet to be approved for exhibition.

The client: Ministry of Sound

Mark Rodol, managing director

Ministry of Sound is an organisation run by young people, and last year two politicians (who shall remain nameless) told us that we were a credible brand among young people. Research found some young people were expressing apathy about politics, and others were voicing concern about that apathy. Any campaign would, therefore, have to address both these groups.

Of course, clubbing and politics seem worlds apart, but we know how to speak to people in this age-group. Our brief required something hard-hitting, that used real people. But we're not making a party political statement here: we are simply asking anyone who is complacent about voting to consider the content of these films, and think again. The Ministry of Sound club, albums and fashion label are enjoyed and respected by young people of all political persuasions, and this campaign speaks to them all.

The agency: BMP DDB

Nathan Hodges, account director

The thing about youth campaigns in general is that they tend to patronise, and anything about government or politics tends to patronise ten times more. The 18- to 24-year-old bracket is cynical about this subject ... we had to talk to them in a way they would want to be talked to: "This kind of attitude is dangerous - do you think you should do something about it?"

The ads are controversial, but not controversial for their own sake. We're not wanting to grab headlines, like Benetton, which people see through now anyway; our films are designed to shock people out of their complacency. Ministry of Sound is not seeking publicity for itself here: it's just that this brand is credible and faceless - in that it's not run by one person - and is well placed to issue this kind of message. It's more a movement than a commercial label.

This was a great campaign to work on because the client was so broad- minded, and willing to take chances. We've had problems getting these films approved, but our research has convinced the authorities that this is an important issue, and we need to go outside the usual advertising parameters to address it.

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