It Starts With You – Marketing Campaign

White Ribbon is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equality, healthy relationships. White Ribbon is a vision for masculinity that embodies the best qualities of being human. Men are part of the solution and part of a future that is safe and equitable for all people. Through education, awareness-raising, outreach, capacity building, partnerships and creative campaigns, White Ribbon is helping create tools, strategies and models that challenge negative and outdated concepts of manhood and inspire men to embrace the incredible potential they have to be a part of positive change. The cause is now a global initiative, spreading to over 60 countries worldwide.

It Starts With You is a youth-focused campaign, designed to inspire men to promote healthy, equal relationships with the boys in their lives. The campaign serves as a call to action for men to take a stand against violence and bullying. Leading by example and taking mindful action is key in fostering understandings of equality, whether it be through acts of physical or verbal respect. It Starts With You teaches men ways their actions serve as reflections of who they are as role models and the values they stand for. Demonstrations of kindness toward women is key in fostering understandings of equality among young men and boys.

The aim of the campaign was to promote a powerful message toward male role models that communicate how respectful actions play a major part in shaping young perspectives, by demonstrating how action ‘starts with you’, and stays with them.

WeUsThem’s market research allowed for the identification of demographics and stakeholders who would play an effective role in promoting White Ribbon’s vision, assert  positive actions and generate change behaviours in men and boys outlook toward violence. Research had also resulted in identifying who would be the most appropriate target male demographic within the campaign’s overall reach potential.

In addition to research findings, the use of popular media with a traditionally large male following had influenced the tone and approach taken in developing content. As the campaign were to be a digital one, primarily focussed on resources and information available on the It Starts With You website along with informational videos off of YouTube channels, social media would be employed to promote the messaging from the campaign directly to the intended audiences. Considering the demographic identified and the platforms of choice, i.e. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, once of the key concerns that immediately arose was the information overload and the stopping of the scroll that was inevitable with standard messaging and visual accompaniments even with paid media.

A new trend in pop culture and entertainment had been emerging, which was the love for comic books. Younger generations were looking at it is a revitalization of a time gone by, but more importantly a connect to the popular entertainment they were consuming on the big and small screens. The older generations were connecting with their own youth gone by with the genre with a resurgence in comic books, conventions, and entertainment of all sort.

Determining that 93% of comic book readership were male and 85% are in the 18-44 age range, combining traditional and mainstream media in the form of comics had been an excellent method for message promotion. The “It Starts With You” campaign, WeUsThem determined, could creatively incorporated comic book styling’s with the use of heroism for message delivery into fun, engaging comic strips to supplement White Ribbon’s male-empowering messaging. As WeUsThem uses its knowledge dissemination tactics for consumer behaviour change for its communication, in this campaign, creativity had to be at the forefront. Creativity would allow for consumption, virality and longevity of the message across mediums. One of the strategy’s main, measurable objective of the plan was to determine campaign engagement success through direct CTR’s (click-through rate) to the provided toolkits and the website. Additionally, engagement had been measured through increases in reach/impressions, post and page likes, page visits, account mentions, replies, retweets, as well as an increase in followership, which helped skew the gender demographic to a primary male one as opposed to the female one that previously existed.

Facebook male demographics increased by 66% following the “It Starts With You” campaign efforts, succeeding the overall goal of heightening male awareness and message delivery on a tremendous level.  Within a year, the campaign had resulted in reaching a total of 851,759 Facebook individual's, had made over 1,831,800 Twitter impressions, generated over 11,700 clicks to the campaign websites and had gained over 8,950 new followers across their Facebook and Twitter social media platforms for all three campaigns.

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Every male plays a role in promoting gender equality. Visit www.itstartswithyou.ca for more information on teaching the importance of consent, fostering respect and developing equitable gender roles.

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