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Back in 1992, during the Clinton/Bush election, MTV was concerned about the disillusioned voting habits of youth who didn’t necessarily feel like turning out for the polls. At that time the network introduced "Choose or Lose," a snappy catchphrase for their election coverage with a nice rhyming groove to it. "Choose or Lose" was hip, a new, sharp idea…and then the phrase didn’t change for four subsequent elections and over twenty years.
For the 2012 election season campaign, MTV is going in a whole new direction. The slogan they’ve chosen for the upcoming year is "Power of 12.” According to The New York Times, introducing the year of the election in the slogan puts emphasis on the upcoming voting opportunity, but it’s also a reminder that voting is only one small first step in the political process. President of MTV Stephen K. Friedman spoke out a little more on this idea.
“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?”
While I can think of multiple better names for the new election campaign, "Choose Relevance" and "Watch, Decide, Matter" included, I’m actually kind of glad MTV is sticking with a phrase that involves a year. This will ensure the network gets off of its lazy bum and is forced to move forward with a brand new catchphrase the next time elections roll around. Even though "Choose or Lose" is reminiscent of my own youth, there’s really no nostalgic pull there, only a reminder the phrase is a dinosaur. Sort of like "Breakfast of Champions," but without reminding people about something as awesome as toys at the bottom of the box.