MEKANISM, San Francisco / THE WHITE HOUSE / 2016
There’s no such thing as sex without consent. This may seem like an obvious statement however sexual consent had been disturbingly identified as a huge “grey area” amongst college age men and women. The “It’s On Us” message had made an impact through empowering bystander intervention in situations where sexual assault could or had occurred, and it was now time to evolve the campaign with the “One Thing” spot tackling the very important issue of ambiguity around the word “consent.” The idea was to create a movement that the target audience could take over and own, and provide effective, ground-level campus activation tools that would help that idea come to life.
September 1, 2015 saw the launch of “One Thing,” a TV spot marking the evolution of the It’s On Us initiative that launched in 2014 in partnership with the White House. It aired on national television as part of an integrated campaign highly targeted to media we knew college students were already consuming. On February 28, It’s On Us student advisory council members joined Lady Gaga on stage at the Academy Awards following a somber introduction by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden reminding us that “It’s On Us” to help prevent sexual assault. The supporting campaign elements included downloadable toolkits with scripts for students to create their own video calls-to-action and hold rallies, renewed pleas to sign the pledge to not be a bystander, and establishment of the first “It’s On Us” student advisory council reaching hundreds of thousands of students in a way traditional media could not.
Participation and activation made the most impact, by far: Students at over 360 college campuses created their own “It’s On Us” call-to-action videos, hosting 1,200 rallies on-campus to raise awareness. Over 324,000 pledges not to be a bystander have been taken at www.itsonus.org. On February 28, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Lady Gaga put It’s On Us in front of the Academy Awards’ 34million TV viewers as sexual assault survivors joined the singer on-stage. A custom Snapchat filter reached millions, 48,000 tweets quoting #itsonus generated 338million impressions, every major news outlet reported the performance with 22,000 new pledges received in 24hrs. Since its September launch, “One Thing” has 4.5million views and “What if Bears Killed One-in-Five People?” a video created by hugely popular U.S. website College Humor received 4.9million views, squarely hitting college age males.