Responses by Matt Dimmer, chief creative officer/partner, Troup
Background: The opportunity was to create an action-based idea designed to motivate and empower underserved youth, reaching them on their terms and in the spaces they spend time: social media. With the help of the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) team, we launched the campaign Let’s Step Forward Together with digital ads and animated social assets on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat that encourages teens in need to visit www.1800runaway.org/stepforward to seek help and for more information, and uses the hashtag #HereToHelpYou247.
Reasoning: With help from artist Ben Fearnley, we created an execution that was visually arresting on social media and different from the usual methods of reaching these kids. In an effort to empower them, we paired motivational headlines—on a very relevant medium—to drive home our message that you can make a change, and, when you're ready, NRS is here to help you.
Challenges: Initially, we were launching in the beginning November, but given the election buzz, we decided to push it later. Then with the holidays, we were up against the rest of the ad world. This year has had no shortage of messages asking for goodwill or help, highlighting needs of those struggling with a variety of issues. We needed to make sure the NRS message stood out and reached its intended audience.
Favorite details: The results, because that’s what matters with this campaign. We were able to drive 113K site visits, with more than half of them being first timers, and click through rates in the mid 70 percent range, which means people were engaged and wanted to find out more information about NRS.
Visual influences: Knowing that all things sneakers—collabs, drops, etc—are a universal interest to this age range, we felt that it would be the perfect medium for our message, especially if we treated them in a way that’s never really been done.
Specific demands: NRS challenged us to push the crisis line outside of its comfort zone. Traditionally, we know when clients ask for that, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll produce the work they asked for. But in this case, thankfully, it was. The digital ads needed to speak to a wide range of adolescents, from 11 to 23, who were experiencing completely different struggles.