Cannes Lions


R/GA, New York / AD COUNCIL / 2009

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The Ad Council asked us to help curb teen dating violence. When we started talking to kids, we found that teen dating has gone digital, and abuse has followed. This problem consists of pressuring for nude pictures, and violation of social networking accounts, and controlling IMing or texting. With no laws and no defined boundaries, there was nowhere for teens to turn. We had stumbled on a huge problem that no one was addressing.


The product had to feel approachable. We went with a hand-crafted, yet polished design. Because we planned for user-generated content, we wanted each element to look like a teen might've constructed it. Minding our strategy to avoid preaching, this had to feel more like a site built to entertain and start conversations. We created “that’s not cool” as a brand kids could use as a platform for discussion. The speech bubble, familiar symbol, was used as a device kids could forward to peers to talk about difficult topics. This language was executed across a website, interactive videos, TV, and mobile.


Between January 5th and April 8th, 2009 website visits exceeded 310,000, averaging more than 103K visitors/month.Articles in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and coverage on The Today Show ensured that the campaign generated significant interest from the target. Videos generated over 200,000 views, and about 34,000 visitors viewed the forum topics. Visitors sent over 28,000 call-out cards. The mobile site averages 800 visits daily.

Every kid who comments, watches a video, sends a call-out, or reaches out for help is a successful business outcome. The influence of this campaign is measured in classrooms and homes across America.

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