2018 Winner

Kids Help Phone

Unfiltered Posts

J. Walter Thompson Canada

BronzeCause/Public Service

Kids Help Phone (KHP) wanted to increase consideration by communicating to youth the wide spectrum of possible reasons for reaching out and removing barriers of consideration. The main barrier for the target audience was that they didn’t know what resources were available to them, and calling a “help line” wasn’t something they would necessarily consider themselves doing.

While Kids Help Phone was known by its youth target, the challenge was that this awareness was based on a limited perception of the service the brand offered. The teens it intended to serve saw Kids Help Phone solely as a crisis line, and they didn’t consider themselves to be “in crisis”. Therefore, they didn’t think KHP was for them.

The objective was to get teens to see Kids Help Phone not just a crisis line, but one they could call for help on a wide range of today’s issues, from school pressures to family and relationship problems, to self-image and mood disorders, and bullying. The following considerations were critical to shaping the team’s approach:

First, this target was all about asserting their fledgling adulthood, which for them, meant solving problems for themselves, not being rescued. If KHP was going to win them over, it would need to be as an ally who could help them tap into their own inner strength to deal with their challenges.

Second, there was an acknowledgement that one of the areas of pressure for teens lay within social media. The incredible weight of self-scrutinizing pressure social media imposed on the target was a contributing factor as to why they needed KHP’s help more than ever. Consequently, an opportunity existed to make social media part of the solution.

Beyond needing to meet kids on their terms and turf, the team had a budget challenge. With just $50K all in, the campaign couldn’t rely on paid media alone. It had to generate a level of engagement within the target that would ensure it got shared to augment reach.

Real life is far less perfect than the “social media life” we project, so the audience’s relationship with the social world became the inspiration. Teens had become accustomed to seeing and showing only perfect, glossy versions of their lives on social media. They filtered out the tough situations they were dealing with entirely. With “Unfiltered Posts”, the team set out to break the illusion of a perfect life.

The driving idea was to show the dissonance between “social media life” and real life. “Unfiltered Posts” highlighted the striking difference between teens’ shiny, happy, highly-curated social media portrayals of their lives and the everyday lives they actually live. The organization wanted to shine a light on the range of very real problems teens faced (and that Kids Help Phone was well equipped to help them deal with), and stand as an ally for any teen looking for help.

The team created Instagram videos that looked like real posts, but with audio that told unexpected and sobering stories, touching on issues such as eating disorders, relationships, abuse, and even suicide. Kids Help Phone then let them know that they could talk to them about issues they normally wouldn’t talk about, with the call to action, “You can share with us what you can’t share with everyone else.”

The campaign gave teens the broader permission to reach out to Kids Help Phone. KHP saw a 146% increase in calls received from the previous year within a month of launch – the most calls the centre has ever received. The campaign also resulted in 3,713 clicks to the Kids Help Phone website and 1,151 new Facebook fans. It created the positive, memorable, share-worthy interest in the cause it needed to, creating above-average ad recall, with 1 in 5 Facebook users remembering seeing a Kids Help Phone ad from the campaign (within 2 days of exposure) and earning 12.5 million total impressions – 2.3 times the impressions target, generating over 2.4 million unique impressions.

Creative Team
Agency: J. Walter Thompson Canada
Chief Strategy Officer: Dean Foerter
Digital & Social Strategist: Adam Ferraro
Chief Creative Officer: Ryan Spelliscy
SVP, Creative Directors: David Federico, Josh Budd
Art Directors: Cindy Marie Navarro, Allie Keith
Copywriters: Mike DeCandido, Henry Park
Producer: Caroline Clarke
Account Team: Jodi Bishop, Lynda East, Rachel Marcus

Production Team
Production Company: Cornerstone
Director: Jorn Haagen
Executive Producer: Jennie Montford
Line Producer: Jeff Pangman

Post-Production Team
Post-Production / Editing Company: Rooster
Editor: Marc Langley
Assistant Editor: Warren Goodwin
Executive Producers: Melissa Kahn, Yumi Suyama
Online Company: Fort York
Online Artist: Mike Bishop
Producer: Erica Bourgault-Assaf
Audio Company: Ta2 Sound
Director: Steve Gadsen
Executive Producer: Dana Gadsen
Engineer: Adam Png
Casting Company: Jigsaw
Director: Shasta Lutz

Media Team
Media Company: Society, etc.
Account Lead: Melissa Lamarre
President: Mike Sharma

Client Team
Organization: Kids Help Phone
Marketing Director: Melanie Simons
Senior Marketing Manager: Dan Howe
Marketing Coordinator: Caitlyn Veiga

For registration inquiries, please contact Ben Soldinger at bsoldinger@brunico.com.
For partnership inquiries, please contact Neil Ewen at newen@brunico.com.