The Ad Council’s Seize the Awkward Campaign Uses Intelligent Creative to Get Young Adults Talking About Mental Health

Partnership Between the Ad Council, dentsu International, and VidMob Helps Increase Effectiveness of National Mental Health Campaign Through Data-Driven Approach to Creative Across Social Platforms

Wrapping up Mental Health Awareness Month, the Ad Council, VidMob, and denstu International, today announced a case study and results of a new partnership to ensure America’s young adults are empowered to have effective conversations with one another about mental health. The collaboration leveraged AI technology to improve campaign creative and drive higher engagement among teens 16-18 years old, ensuring they receive the most relevant and resonant content to start conversations around mental health with their friends.

Marketing Technology News: FDCTech Partners and Integrates Award-Winning SkaleCRM software with Condor FX Trading Platform

To gain a deeper understanding of messaging and ad-design effectiveness, the Ad Council partnered with dentsu’s Attention Lab, powered by VidMob, for the Seize the Awkward campaignNow in its third year, Seize the Awkward is a collaboration between the Ad Council, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and The Jed Foundation (JED) to approach the issue of mental health awareness and youth suicide prevention. The campaign equips young people with the inspiration, tools, and language to check in on one another’s mental health.

The results arrive at a time when mental health support for young people couldn’t be more needed. Amid COVID-19, many young adults have missed significant life events like graduation, starting a new job, or moving away from home. New research indicates that these changes have taken a significant toll on their mental health.

The case study results showed that data-informed creative can dramatically boost ad performance. Using machine learning, Seize the Awkward creative assets were analyzed to identify key visual elements that resonated most with audiences and drove desired outcomes on Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. Insights were implemented, and fine-tuned creatives drove increased engagement across all three platforms. Additionally, through a brand study conducted by Perksy, we saw a significant increase in website traffic, brand awareness and logo recognition.

Some of the results include:

  • Instagram: 21% increase in Page Engagement Rate.
  • Snapchat: Swipe Rates more than doubled from the 2020 media flight with a 120% increase.
  • TikTok: 112% increase in Click Through Rate.

Although all three platforms shared some common best practices, ideal video length, specific messaging, and introducing key messages varied depending on the platform. Creating custom content tailored for each specific platform resulted in the most impact.

Media inventory for the campaign was donated to the Ad Council by Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. Media strategy and planning were provided pro bono by dentsu International, media execution was managed by the Ad Council, and creative analysis and creation of optimized ads, called Intelligent Creative, were provided at no cost by VidMob. Perksy also donated a pre-post brand study.

Marketing Technology News: Why Our Obsession with Engagements Need to Change

Additional campaign insights are available in a newly released report, “The Ad Council, dentsu International and VidMob Creative Optimization Case Study.”

“At the Ad Council, we rely on data and research to inform the creative design and media strategy for all of our campaigns,” said Laurie Keith, Vice President of Media, Social & Emerging at the Ad Council. “Through this groundbreaking technology, we will continue to make a big impact for our campaigns, where engaging consumers and holding their attention is truly making a difference in people’s lives.”

Brian Monahan, Head of US Ventures, dentsu, said: “The Ad Council are champions of meaningful progress and their ability to embrace data with creative, enhancing performance to drive accelerating change during this time is much needed. We’re honored to be a part of such an initiative that unlocks possibilities for lasting change, and thrilled to see that our partnership with VidMob has helped people have those important conversations about mental health.”

“We’re incredibly grateful to the Ad Council for partnering with VidMob Gives on their Seize the Awkward campaign. Mental health is an urgent issue around the globe as millions of people have been dealing with the stress of the pandemic,” said Burr Purnell, Executive Director of Social Good at VidMob. “Providing pro bono access to Intelligent Creative from VidMob ensures that worthy causes can be more effective at engaging audiences on key social platforms.”

“We are grateful for the opportunity to support the Seize the Awkward campaign which provides Snapchatters with important tools and resources to start conversations around mental health. Utilizing technology to drive data-informed creative, we saw an increase in engagement which ultimately empowers more young people to have important conversations about mental health, something that is incredibly inspiring to us.” – David Roter, Vice President of Global Agency Partnerships

Marketing Technology News: CMOs Need to Own the End-to-End Customer Experience. Here’s Why.