Protect Our Winters Switzerland

No matter the challenge, you’ve got this!

Clima Now   •   16.04.2024

Protect Our Winters Switzerland is the voice of the outdoor community in the climate movement. With our work, we inform and sensitize our community around topics linked to climate protection, and we mobilize them to go vote. This was our focus for the national elections last October: we launched a mobilization campaign to increase voter turnout among young people. When considering a climate NGO, a turnout campaign for national elections might not immediately come to mind. However, federal elections provide an opportunity to elect representatives to parliament who advocate for our interests over the course of four years. Unfortunately, turnout among young voters under 30 years is only around 30%. At the same time, they are an important group and hold significant potential to make a difference. That’s why we aimed to inspire young people with engaging and informative content. We know that the outdoor community thrives on a challenge so why stop at the challenge of voting? «No matter the challenge, you’ve got this! Vote like you run, climb, ride.»

As a climate NGO focused on the outdoors, the idea of launching a campaign for national elections might not be immediately obvious. It’s clear that we take a stand on issues like the CO2- or the Climate Law, but national elections can seem a bit off topic. However, federal elections are a crucial opportunity to influence future Swiss climate policies through elected parliamentarians.

This is especially important given that climate protection is a primary concern for younger generations. Unfortunately, many studies indicate that young people face challenges in engaging with the voting process and therefore participate less compared to older generations. We aimed to create a campaign targeting young voters, one that resonated with them.

Until now, campaigns encouraging young people to vote in Switzerland have typically focused on the simplicity of the act. However, voting isn’t necessarily straightforward for everyone. With our campaign, we wanted to acknowledge their struggle while empowering them, demonstrating that they’ve overcome much tougher challenges. Hence, the slogan of our campaign was: «No matter the challenge – you’ve got this! Vote like you ride, bike, or run.» The outdoor community thrives on challenges, whether it’s tackling a new bike trail or scaling a difficult rock face. We aimed to inspire a similar enthusiasm for the voting process and urging them to embrace the challenge as they would while doing their favorite outdoor activity.

For four weeks before the elections, we began distributing informational content on our digital channels, serving as a constant reminder, and sharing engaging content on our social media platforms. In collaboration with the graphic design studio Resort we developed a fresh visual identity tailored to appeal to younger generations. We produced four campaign videos to convey our message effectively. In addition to informative content and campaign videos, we introduced more interactive formats. One such format allowed our community to challenge our athletes. Athletes encouraged their followers to fill out their ballots and, in return, the community could challenge the athletes back. Through these collaborations, we expanded the reach of our content to include our athletes‘ channels. Furthermore, drawing from past campaign experiences, we recognized the need for physical events. In partnership with our partners On Running, Disco Cycle and Minimum Bouldering, we organized running, biking, and climbing events that combined physical activity with political engagement. Each event featured speakers emphasizing the importance of voting and addressing questions from the community. This blend of content and activities enabled us to engage with our community on multiple levels and create a shared sense of belonging.