PHD US’ ‘Back to School Essentials’ campaign for Sandy Hook Promise was selected as a finalist in the 12th annual Shorty Awards’ Call to Action category. The Shorty Awards honour the best of social media by recognising the influencers, brands and organisations on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and more. Past winners include Taylor Swift, Malala Yousafzai, J.K. Rowling and Adele.

Brand and organisation winners will be announced leading up to and during the awards ceremony on 3rd May 2020 in New York City. This year’s show will be a digital-only event in light of public health concerns surrounding COVID-19.

PHD US’s ‘Back to School Essentials’ campaign in brief:

Objective

Roll-out a strategically timed social campaign to jolt a country fatigued by gun violence and rally them to join, donate and take action.

For many adults, the school year is a relatively carefree time of innocence, excitement and growth. But for children, returning to school increasingly means a “new normal” of fear, anxiety and stress caused by gun violence: 60% of American teenagers worry about a mass shooting at school, 96% of public schools participate in active shooter drills and 4.1m students went through a real lockdown in 2018.

Strategy

PHD US injected the realities of school shootings into the daily social media habits of students, parents and teachers during the Back to School shopping season.

A custom Snapchat lens was created to re-enact a day-in-the-life of a student that allowed users, young and old, to understand what it was like to fear school shootings on a daily basis and spot the signs of a school shooter. Audiences were reached during their daily commutes, while they took a snack break at work or school, or when they were unwinding in the evening after a long day.

The campaign was also promoted through Sandy Hook Promise’s (SHP) owned social channels and its email list. SHP’s website was a key destination. PHD US garnered significant organic social chatter through the support of notable celebrities like Kim Kardashian and presidential candidates like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris retweeting the SHP message to their followers.

Results

  • YouTube showed an average video completion percentage of 90%
  • Became a Top 10 Twitter trend in the US in the first week of launch
  • Snapchat delivered video views that generated 38,477 swipe ups to SHP website
  • 26m views in 24 hours (74m views to date and 10x more than briefed)
  • 4,400 media stories garnering 9bn PR and media impressions
  • 4x search volume vs. any other time in the organisation’s history
  • Most importantly for Sandy Hook Promise, the campaign:
    • Drove $100k in donations within the first 24 hours of launch
    • Increased site visitors +400% vs. previous week
    • Completed with a $37,000 paid media budget and donated media