By age 16, 70% of teens have already seen photos of illegal substances/peer pressure online. What’s more, by that age they encounter substance-related content online on average 84 times per day. So as the only national nonprofit prevention program in the country, how do you help teens not only navigate this environment, but empower them to rise above the negative influences they’re facing every day?
For a long time, Above the Influence had been using traditional prevention communications like passive messaging or scare tactics, which have little effect on today’s teens immersed in social media. So in order to start an honest, authentic conversation that would resonate with them today, we had to immerse ourselves in their world — which meant not only creating a campaign that lived in the social landscape, but bringing it to life in a language native to that environment. By activating in the very environment teens needed us most, we could provide support and tools to enable them to rise above and feel empowered, not judged.
Our work launched as a series of campaigns each anchored in the digital world. They were shareable and social in nature, and written in languages native to that landscape (emojiis, tweets, short videos).