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Rock the Vote

Status of Rock The Vote in 2002:

Despite many downturns in their growth, changes in management and staff and the loss of relationships with strategic partners, RTV was a beloved, evergreen brand that inspired random events and civic action globally. There was so much potential to use this brand to forward their mission to engage young people in their communities and in the political process.


Tarr set up a long-term production deal with RTV for her company Squeak Pictures through her relationship with Executive Director Mario Velasquez and generated all activity at NO cost to the organization. She created the Rock The Vote Action Team and mobilized the following:

  • The top ad agency of the year, Chiat Day/SF, joined the team with Chuck McBride, Jennifer Golub and Carissa Bianchi leading the charge.

    • A series of award-winning PSAs were produced, directed by and largely financed by​ Joe Pytka

  • DNA Studios came in to create a new website

  • PR firm Porter Novelli jumped in


Tarr believed that entertainment could be produced with RTV as a producer (the "seal of approval") that could be marketed successfully to kids, bring revenue to RTV and inspire millions of kids to be activists. She put her team of creative producers and idealists to work to create a plan. Here's what they came up with:

  • Development of television, feature and Internet series/projects, including Politically Incorrect for Kids

  • CAA jumped in, offering RTV two fully-developed feature scripts, one with a major star attached, to produce

  • A fund was created for the development of consciousness-raising entertainment. 

Political Activism:

The team of young creatives at Squeak developed a plan for the Rock The Vote Youth Convention, to be held concurrently with the Democratic and Republican conventions, to create a platform of issues that are important to the youth of America. To support the convention, the following was planned:

  • Two youth representatives of each state would be elected by their peers on the Internet, after running highly visible campaigns.

  • The nominees for these positions would be chosen by sending videos to RTV about outlining their platforms.

  • These videos would create an Internet series and active youth portal to the RTV site to encourage activism and engagement.


The innovation of this approach to energizing and re-inventing the capabilities of a non-profit brand basically resurrected the organization according to Jeff Ayeroff, one of the founders. This effort inspired us all about a new way of thinking.

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