Disenchantment with Obama causes MTV to drop “Choose or Lose” campaign slogan

In an attempt to engage youth in the political process (and largely to push Democratic candidates), MTV hosted election year programming, “Choose or Lose,” for nearly twenty years. Now, as a result of youth disenchantment with President Obama, MTV has been forced to re-brand their election year initiatives. The New York Times reports:

After nearly 20 years of “Choose or Lose,” MTV is changing the name of its election season campaign.

The youth cable channel’s coverage will be labeled “Power of 12,” a nod to both the election year and the notion that 18- to 29-year-olds have a lot of political power if they choose to wield it.

The name change is, in part, a statement about the cynical mood of the youth voting bloc. While young people turned out in unusually high numbers to support Barack Obama in 2008, MTV’s research into “Choose or Lose” found that many felt they had lost anyway.

“They were so passionate,” said Stephen K. Friedman, the president of MTV. “And then they hit this wall of the economy.”

The “Power” campaign, to be announced on Monday, implies that choosing is not all that matters. “Voting is one step in the process — just one step,” Mr. Friedman said. “The question for this generation is, they’ve got this power, will they exert it?”

The “Choose or Lose” campaign started in 1992. That year, at a town hall symposium sponsored by the channel, then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton was asked whether he had ever tried marijuana and he famously replied, “I didn’t inhale.” The campaign has used the “Choose or Lose” label ever since.

There have been interviews, voter registration drives, news reports, online chats and parties. On the eve of election day in 2008, for instance, MTV showed a 30-minute question-and-answer session with Mr. Obama.

But this year, staff members at MTV’s initial meeting about the coming elections agreed that a name change was required.


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