Young men in bars across the country now have the chance to show the party leaders what they really think of them – during a trip to the toilet. And they'll be learning about our lifesaving register at the same time.
A pre-election video game called ‘Wee the People’, installed above urinals in the bathrooms of bars across the UK, asks men to throw tomatoes at the leaders of seven parties. But these are not touch screen – instead, men can control the action on each eye-height screen by aiming carefully to the left or right in the bowl below.
A direct hit on an ‘M-Pee’ registers as one vote in the poll of unpopularity, and all votes are tallied online to produce a running ‘anti-poll’ of the leader’s standings.
But there’s a serious message behind the tomato-throwing. The game, designed by media firm Captive Media, has been created in partnership with blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan as a way of targeting young male stem cell donors.
The game ends with the call to action: ‘Tory, Labour, Raving Loony, it doesn’t matter. You could save a life. We’re not even taking the pee. Search Anthony Nolan (but wash your hands first, yeah?).’
We need to recruit more young men
Anthony Nolan hit upon this novel way to recruit 16-30 year old men to its lifesaving stem cell donor register, where young men are seriously underrepresented.
Our aim is to save the lives of everyone who needs a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, and we depend on young donors coming forward to register.
We use our register to match potential bone marrow donors to blood cancer patients in desperate need of a lifesaving transplant. But young men, in particular, are hard to recruit – despite being by far the most in-demand as donors.
Young men make up only 15% of potential donors, but are far more likely to be chosen to donate by transplant centres and provide nearly half of all stem cell donations.
“There is a serious and life-threatening shortage of young men on our register, which we urgently need to address,” explained Richard Davidson, Director of Communications for Anthony Nolan.
“Engaging young men is one of our greatest challenges. We need to get our message across to 16 to 30 year old men but we know that they don’t respond to our usual appeals in the same numbers as women.
“The audience for this game helps us exclusively reach young males in a highly targeted and memorable way, at a time when everyone is talking about the election. If just one person joins the register and saves someone’s life as a result, it’s worked.”
The game, which is launched today, is playing on around 200 screens in bars across England Scotland and Wales, from Zoo Bar on Leicester Square to Tiger Tiger in Glasgow. That means it is ‘polling’ over 10,000 male voters every day - more than the top five polling organisations combined.
“The reaction to the game in testing has been phenomenal,” commented Captive Media director Mark Melford. “Men seem to love it, and they talk about it after they’re back from the toilet, further helping to spread Anthony Nolan’s lifesaving message. Not only is the game helping save lives, it’s helping engage young voters in politics.”
Captive Media reports that early polling offers a new blow to UKIP, with Nigel Farage the most pilloried leader, collecting 23.1% of all tomatoes thrown. And also a ray of hope for the Liberal Democrats, with Nick Clegg the least pelted leader of a major party, with just 10.6% of tomatoes directed at him. SNP Leader, Nicola Sturgeon garners 15.6% of the opprobrium, level-pegging with Ed Miliband. Full results will be tweeted daily by @Captive_Media between now and the election.
If you are between 16 and 30, you can join the Anthony Nolan register by clicking on the button below: