Kids Help Phone’s new voice

A new pop culture-centric campaign aims to let teens know it can help even with non-crisis situations.


Kids Help Phone is hoping its new social media campaign will help Canadian teens think of the organization as a resource for all kinds of issues, not just major crises.

Through “#FindYourVoice,” which launched Monday and was led by Manifest Communications, Kids Help Phone is posing questions to teens via social media about issues they face and asking them to respond by lip syncing lines from pop culture – whether music lyrics or movie or TV quotes.

Kids and teens can pick a topic and use the Dubsmash app to respond, sharing the result on social media. The launch question, for example, was “How do you help a friend dealing with bullying?” got responses like lyrics from Taylor Swift’s song “Mean.”

Others topics include school, dating and emotional health. Responses are curated on a microsite (in both English and French) that directs to Kids Help Phone’s resources.

While “#FindYourVoice” is getting organic traction, Kids Help Phone is driving awareness through a partnership with Bell Media (Bell is a founding partner of the organization and a longstanding partner on other initiatives with Kids Help Phone).

Along with digital and TV ads to drive engagement, Kids Help Phone has also tapped into the power of four different creators from Much Digital Studios, who will make their own dubs to share on social media (the first came from Michael Rizzi, quoting Mean Girls).

The campaign also features a contest with weekly prizing and a grand prize of two VIP tickets to the MMVAs to the best dub that comes out over the next four weeks.

Last spring, Kids Help Phone conducted a survey to gauge its brand awareness and understand common issues kids were facing, as well as focus groups with teens. While the organization had high awareness, it was also considered more of a resource for crisis situations and not for more everyday issues, like school stress (which turned out to be a major issue that teens are facing), says Melanie Simons, director of brand and youth marketing at Kids Help Phone.

“We wanted to appeal more to the broader spectrum of kids and ensure that kids, whether they’re facing everyday issues or a severe crisis in their lives, know that Kids Help Phone is there for them and is part of their lives in a way that’s meaningful for them,” she says.

The organization also wanted to engage in a safe way online through social media, the main place, other than school, where kids are interacting. The strategy of using pop culture quotes has already been seen by teens as a safer – and fun – way to engage (since they don’t have to come up with their own words), and makes them feel part of a larger movement, Simons adds.