2017 Strategy Awards: Drug Free Kids’ cross-channel jump

The brand wanted to prompt parent-teen conversations about driving while high.


Gold: Connection Strategy
Silver: Cause

Driving while high on marijuana is actually more prevalent among young drivers than drunk driving. And more than half the drivers rushed to trauma centres following car accidents have drugs (typically marijuana) in their systems. The challenge for Drug Free Kids Canada and FCB/Six was convincing teens that driving high is dangerous, while breaking through an already oversaturated drunk driving PSA market.

Research showed the most effective way to change behaviour is to have parents talk to their kids about drugs.

While almost all teens agree having a car accident while driving high would be horrible, most don’t believe it could ever happen to them. The plan was to make the unthinkable feel real and trigger a conversation between parents and teens about the dangers of driving while high.

The team launched “The Call That Comes After” campaign, an immersive, cross-channel experience that prompted this important conversation.

Research showed that if you want to have a conversation with a teen, the place to start is on their cell phone. First, a media campaign targeted parents, inviting them to create and share a personalized, interactive video with their teen. The youngster would then click to watch the video, which told the story of a group of teens who decide to drive high. Finally, during the story’s climax, the teen watching the film starts to receive text messages on their phone, from their mom or dad. At the same time, the characters receive the exact same messages from their own (fictional) parents.

This surprising real-time channel-jump creates a moment of heightened emotion and connection to the story. To create the channel-jump from video to SMS, the agency combined five technology platforms: IBM Marketing Cloud, an on-demand video rendering engine, YouTube, a LAMP web service stack and triggered SMS.

In addition, campaign awareness was created through TV, OOH, print, digital and social ads.

In the first 60 days, and prior to mass support rolling out, site traffic to Drug Free Kids increased by 1,946% and 13,200 people engaged with the content. The campaign has already generated significant earned media as parents and teens spread the word.

Brand | Drug Free Kids Canada
Agency | FCB/SIX
EVP, strategy | Anna Percy-Dove