Snipes, Puma promote voter registration with store kiosks, branded face masks

Linda J. Dodson

Dive Brief:

  • Snipes is collaborating with Puma to introduce kiosks at its 95 retail locations equipped with technology to help shoppers register to vote as part of its #UseYourVoice campaign, the company said in an email to Marketing Dive.
  • The retailer has introduced kiosks within three Philadelphia stores and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, to share voter registration links and dispense reusable Snipes and Puma-branded masks. Meanwhile, its other locations have custom in-store signs with QR codes that can send shoppers to voter registration information in their state, according to the company announcement.
  • Snipes and Puma are the latest brands to tie marketing efforts to the upcoming election season. The in-store kiosks and QR codes will direct consumers to state voting sites and polling information in their locale until Election Day on Nov. 3.

Dive Insight:

Snipes said it’s investing in voter participation because it sees elections as “one of the key freedoms of American life.” The goal of #UseYourVoice is to make registering to vote more accessible to shoppers, the retailer said. By using QR codes and kiosks at its stores, Snipes can reach tech-savvy consumers who are gradually returning to retail stores as pandemic-related restrictions ease.

Snipes and Puma join other brands in engaging in political activism as the 2020 presidential election approaches. Last week, Patagonia, a brand with a history of advocacy, kicked off a voting rights initiative focused on supporting its customers and employees in voter registration, especially among communities of color who have faced voter disenfranchisement. Gap also created a Stand United campaign that promotes voter registration through its relationships with organizations like When We All Vote and Rock the Vote.

Companies have taken different approaches to unpack today’s political issues. Ben & Jerry’s has addressed racism through a podcast amid its call to dismantle white supremacy. Taking a lighter approach, the California Milk Processor Board, known for the iconic “Got milk?” campaign, launched a bilingual news series highlighting good news across various topics. Even Bagel Bites took on polarizing conversations with its first ad campaign in nearly 20 years.

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on and social issues remain top of mind for consumers, companies have had to grapple with how to proceed in this era, which seems to require marketers to rethink their avoidance of tense topics. At one point, Facebook reportedly weighed whether to ban political ads from its platform. Meanwhile, Vice Media Group called out advertisers for preventing their ads from appearing in content containing keywords including “Black Lives Matter” and “Black people.”

Despite companies’ concerns about entering the political discourse, research suggests many consumers seek their engagement. Nearly half of people reacted favorably toward brands with face masks in their ads, compared to 33% who were displeased and 19% who had neutral or mixed feelings, per a July report from Ace Metrix. Plus, a survey from Edelman this month found that 77% of U.S. respondents said it is deeply important that companies respond to racial injustice to earn or keep their trust.

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