When the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids was deciding how to effectively promote their “Who Controls You” campaign, they were definitely thinking about influence and how it impacted their target audience of teens. The campaign, launched as part of their Above the Influence program, has a simple goal of helping kids make better choices in situations where peer pressure could have a negative impact on their daily lives. Yet, the Partnership’s marketing team knew their message would not resonate with teens if it lacked the authenticity modern audiences experience when interacting with their friends and influencers on social media. The right voice and medium were going to be an important part of creating content that would have have a positive impact on the lives of the teens they targeted.
By partnering with Vine influencer Maris Jones and using her unique stop-motion storytelling techniques, they created a series of 15-second vines that show the different types of peer pressure modern teens much manage, with an ominous hand appearing on-screen and pushing teens to engage in negative actions. Teens are shown resisting this pressure and a clear audio message reinforces a positive message of staying in control in such circumstances. While the Partnership’s main focus is helping teens make good choices about drugs and alcohol, the series includes other social situations, like LGBT acceptance and healthy eating, where teens may feel out of control because of pressure from peers.
The campaign works so well because the purpose and goals were something Jones believed in herself. “Growing up is tough and I know how it can seem dark during the teenage years. I was honored to help shed light on the problems teens face and to be a voice letting them know that you can stand up for what you believe in,” she said.
The campaign didn’t stop there. To tie in with Jones’ creations, the Partnership developed (with digital producer We Are Royale) a Twitter-based game called #PositiveATI that gives teens a chance to shoot away at negative tweets.
As with so many influencer marketing campaigns where brand and creator are an ideally suited, the target audience of teen viewers are perfectly matched with both Jones as a content co-creator and Vine as a medium for short, impactful videos. Combined with the social focus of the companion game, this campaign is well-designed to engage with the target audience without disrupting the vision of the creator.