Boost Your Voice | The Webby Awards

Webby for Good is a collaborative program formed by The Webby Awards and WP Engine to showcase Webby-recognized projects built to change the world.

How did it come to be–what was the breakthrough moment?

The idea of converting Boost Mobile stores into voting stations came out of a social media brief. We were looking a year to 18 months ahead at cultural moments. The 2016 Presidential election was one of the biggest and most obvious events, so naturally we started thinking about Boost customers in terms of voting – Their behavior, registration and being heard. Our team members have diverse backgrounds, and informal discussions led us to investigate why so many minorities don’t vote – leading us to ask if access to voting was a problem. Through research on past election cycles, we discovered that people were waiting in hours-long lines in certain counties all across the country. And that the longest lines were happening in low-income and minority neighborhoods. It became clear that equal access to voting is a real problem, and that people need more places to vote. Since Boost stores have always been located in these affected communities, it made sense for the brand to step in and help their customers. Typically, people vote at government locations such as libraries and schools, even National Guard armories have been used. The breakthrough moment came when one of our team members remembered that he had once voted at a local car dealership, a business. Which meant it was – at least in theory – possible for a Boost Mobile store to serve as an official place to vote. We were on to something!

What was the intended real-world impact?

We intended to help the underserved vote without having to wait for hours, give up a days pay or choose between groceries and casting a ballot. We also aimed to accentuate the fact that voting is a right for every American citizen, not a privilege. Income or ethnic background should not dictate how easy or hard it is to vote in this country. Everyone deserves to be heard

Your biggest challenge to achieving your goals?

The biggest challenge we discovered is how extraordinarily difficult it is to make a business an official place to vote. Elections are controlled at a county level, not at a state or federal level. Each county in the United States has their own different rules and regulations concerning what can be a polling place. Before this project we had no idea that elections varied so much on a county-by-county basis. It’s really fascinating. The majority of counties we reached out to rejected Boost Mobile’s offer – with reasons ranging from outdated rules and ordinances, to outright resistance. We found it curious that the counties where long lines have been a consistent issue, making headline news, were among the most heavily resistance to any help or change. It took a team of 30 people working for months, calling hundreds of counties across the United States, to find election officials willing to stand up with us against inequality. The other thing we discovered after speaking with 817 counties is that this is really the first time anything like this has been attempted on a national scale. Some counties had used a local business in the past as a one-time solution, but a corporation has never made a national offer of its storefronts as polling places before.

What was your proudest moment?

Our proudest moment was being able to help more Americans make their voices heard. In terms of local governments, we implemented something that had never been tried before. We succeeded at turning Boost stores into voting stations, leading to an actual 23% increase in voter turnout. And our event with Chance the Rapper led to the highest day of early voting in Chicago history. We made a public offer to help bring the issue of unequal voting access more into the open and put pressure on election officials for change. Ultimately, we’re proud that we were able to show what’s possible when government and a corporation work together for the good of those we both serve.

Credits

  • Director, Brand Strategy and Marketing Communications Peiti Feng Boost Mobile
  • Sr. Manager Social & Integration Jeremy Agers Boost Mobile
  • Sr. Manager Brand Strategy Kham Lam Boost Mobile
  • Sr. Manager Advertising & Creative Nick Holt Boost Mobile
  • Social Media MGR Ginger Conrad Boost Mobile
  • Brand Coordinator, Social & Integration Amanda Nogaki Boost Mobile
  • Chief Creative Officer William Gelner 180LA
  • Executive Creative Director Eduardo Marques 180LA
  • Executive Creative Director Rafael Rizuto 180LA
  • Creative Director Mike Bokman 180LA
  • Creative Director Jason Rappaport 180LA
  • Digital Creative Director Karan Dang 180LA
  • Director of Art & Design Chris Welsby 180LA
  • ACD/Copywriter Tylynne McCauley 180LA
  • ACD/Art Director Brian Farkas 180LA
  • Designer Matt Jensen 180LA
  • Designer Delaney Maher 180LA
  • Head of Production Natasha Wellesley 180LA
  • Executive Producer David Emery 180LA
  • Producer Aine Carey 180LA
  • Senior Content Manager Jay Lledo 180LA
  • Social Media Manager Karla Burgos 180LA
  • Digital Producer Ryan Schmidt 180LA
  • Executive Digital Producer Stephen Fahlsing 180LA
  • Project Manager Lisa Payton 180LA
  • Creative Technologist Jefferson Wu 180LA
  • UX Designer Stacey Savage 180LA
  • Head of Account Management Chad Bettor 180LA
  • Account Director Mike Slatkin 180LA
  • Account Manager Eric Reilly 180LA
  • Planner Theo Soares 180LA
  • Planner Cecelia Girr 180LA
  • Director of Business Affairs Loretta Zolliecoffer 180LA
  • Business Affairs Amy Sharma 180LA
  • Government Outreach Team Jason Huddleston 180LA
  • Government Outreach Team Leah Couvelier 180LA
  • Government Outreach Team Steve Brothers 180LA
  • Government Outreach Team Russell Milton 180LA
  • Government Outreach Team Nicole Rejwan 180LA
  • Government Outreach Team Khalilah Waajid 180LA
  • Government Outreach Team Kayla Mitchell 180LA
  • Government Outreach Team Lawrence Gilliam 180LA
  • Government Outreach Team Missy Evans 180LA
  • Government Outreach Team Jordan Zolliecoffer 180LA
  • Government Outreach Team Chance Zolliecoffer 180LA
  • Government Outreach Team Breely Windham 180LA
  • Government Outreach Team Shek Shem 180LA
  • Production The Corner Shop
  • Executive Producer Anna Hashmi The Corner Shop
  • Producer Stephen Love Jr. The Corner Shop
  • Producer Blake Pickens The Corner Shop
  • Director Malik Vitthal The Corner Shop
  • DP Isiah Donté Lee The Corner Shop
  • Production Melvin (Chicago & Parade to the Polls)
  • Executive Producer David Emery Melvin
  • Director/Producer Aine Carey Melvin
  • DP (Chicago) Erik Ljung Melvin
  • Editorial Cut + Run
  • Executive Producer Amburr Farls Cut + Run
  • Producer Brian Mulvey Cut + Run
  • Editor Sean Fazende Cut + Run
  • Assistant Editor Heather Bartholomae Cut + Run
  • Completion Jogger Studios
  • Creative Director David Parker Jogger Studios
  • Flame Artist Tony Pettiti Jogger Studios
  • Executive Producer Rich Rama Jogger Studios
  • Sr. Producer Nancy Nina Hwang Jogger Studios
  • Editorial (The Future of Voting Equality & The Whole Story) Melvin
  • Producer Brian Scharwath Melvin
  • Editor Dave Groseclose Melvin
  • Completion (The Future of Voting Equality & The Whole Story) Therapy Studios
  • Executive Producer Joe DiSanto Therapy Studios
  • Recording Mix (Equal Voting Access For All) Eleven Sound
  • Mixer Bren Freer Eleven Sound
  • Assistant Mixer Jordan Meltzer Eleven Sound
  • Executive Producer Suzanne Hollingshead Eleven Sound
  • Recording Mix (The Future of Voting Equality & The Whole Story) Therapy Studios
  • Website Jam3

About the Corporate Social Responsibility Campaigns category

Digital campaigns showcasing a company’s commitment to encouraging community growth and development, and to activities and programs that benefit the environment, consumers, employees, and the public.