Using Rich Media To Reach Teens

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The That’s Not Cool campaign used the Google Display Network and YouTube to reach 18M young minds and get teens talking about an important issue.

• Increased site traffic by 1,550%
• Reached over 18M users
• Received 1,143,877 total page views and 135,935 total video views for 3-month campaign, with traffic still increasing to date
• Drove 89% of impressions from social media sites

Capturing the attention of a teenager is no easy task. When the Ad Council and the Family Violence Prevention Fund wanted to develop a campaign to prevent intimate dating abuse among teens, they needed to start with a compelling message precisely targeted to 13- to 17-year-olds. They also knew that success depended on distributing the message via media that today’s teenagers actively use the most— websites, videos, text messages, and social networks.For 67 years, the Ad Council has created public service campaigns that raise awareness, inspire action, and ultimately change lives. “People know us for icons and slogans that reflect decades of American culture—characters like Smokey Bear and Rosie the Riveter, and slogans such as ‘Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk,” says Barbara Shimaitis, senior vice president, Interactive Services, for the Ad Council.

A private, non-profit organization, the Ad Council follows a donated media model,bringing together volunteer talent and resources from leading advertising agenciesand the media.

Starting the conversation

For this project, the Family Violence Prevention Fund and the Ad Council partnered with worldwide interactive agency R/GA to develop all aspects of a 360-degree campaign that would engage teens and encourage them to “draw their digital line.”R/GA created the campaign, “That’s Not Cool,” and developed the thatsnotcool.comwebsite as the hub of the campaign. R/GA also knew that YouTube would be anintegral part of the campaign in order to reach teens “where they were already havingconversations,” says Erin Noonan, R/GA account director.

By creating a “That’s NotCool” YouTube™ Channel, a centralized location to host all the campaign’s videosand comments, R/GA greatly increased the campaign’s online presence.The thatsnotcool.com site features embedded videos from the “That’s Not Cool”YouTube Channel; links to popular social media sites; callout cards that can beshared via email, Facebook, and MySpace; an interactive conversation portalcalled “Talk it Out;” and videos on topics such as “textual harassment,” “picpressure,” and “email stalkers.” R/GA also produced all creative for TV, radio,outdoor, and mobile advertising.“Our goal was to connect with teens where they were already talking with eachother. This meant creating not just a single website, but an immersive experiencethat combined web, video, texting, as well as TV, radio, and print,” explains Noonan.

Right on target Promoting the site through search ads with Google AdWords™ was a vital part of thecampaign. But early on, all three parties also saw the advantages of using the Google Display Network™ to identify and target websites that digitally-savvy teens werelikely to visit. The effects of adding eye-catching display ads on the Display Networkwere powerful: within two days of launching this piece of the campaign, traffic to thesite increased 1,550 percent. Further, the Display Network campaign reached over 18 And by connecting with leading social media sites across the Google DisplayNetwork, the campaign generated even more traffic—with Facebook, MySpace, andsimilar sites comprising 89 percent of total impressions during the campaign.Watching and learning.

With guidance from Google, the team also fully integrated YouTube capabilities intothe thatsnotcool.com website via the YouTube API, allowing them to host YouTubevideos in a customized player and extend the reach of their YouTube Channel. Thevideos on the site received over 135,000 total views during the three months thecampaign was live, and both the site and videos continue to receive significant traffic. “We were amazed,” recalls Shimaitis. “With Google support and the YouTubeChannel, visits to the site were tremendous. Daily numbers at times hit 40,000—very high compared to any campaign we’ve ever run.”Integrating YouTube also enabled them to easily capture data around theeffectiveness and reach of videos posted.

YouTube Insight, a free analytics andreporting tool, allowed the Ad Council and R/GA to view detailed statistics aboutvisitors to the site, including viewer demographics and viewing activity by regionover selected time periods. Through YouTube Insight, the Ad Council confirmedthat it had reached its targeted demographic. Nearly half of their traffic was from13- to 17-year-olds, with 78 percent female and 22 percent male. And with GoogleAnalytics, a free web analytics program, the Ad Council and R/GA were able tomonitor and intricately analyze all the traffic to the thatsnotcool.com site.

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