Above The Influence (ATI) was a radical new social action initiative we launched for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in November 2006. Above The Influence rewrote the book on the government’s campaign against teen drug abuse by relying only on positive empowerment messaging, rather than negative consequence scare tactics. The results were astounding– ATI was widely embraced by a notoriously media savvy teen audience and helped reduce drug abuse in 12-17 year olds by 25%.
The Media Campaign
We planned the media to be as empowering and teen-relevant as the message itself. We developed collaborative creative + media briefs called Apertures that helped us build highly synergized plans that put “the right message in the right media at the right moment”. We chose only media environments where teens choose to be, never where they have to be, and partners that could help build media executions that amplified the message by being engaging and contextually relevant.
To accomplish this, we needed to convince a traditional and risk-averse government client to repeatedly push the boundaries of their comfort zone by dipping their toes into new waters– exploring new types of online advertising, entering new mediums like mobile and in-game advertising, and even being the first to use social media. We created “chat-back” extensions for Yahoo! Messenger, custom brands games on MTV, integrated dynamic ads directly into X-Box video game, mobile SMS programs, user generated contests and ground-breaking custom programs with teen social media networks like Bebo and DeviantArt.
The first year we launched the Above The Influence media campaign we were award media plan of the year Media Week. We set the standard not only for government campaigns, but for all teen media campaigns. And we helped curb the drug epidemic in the United States.