The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Unveils New Campaign Asking Teens “Who Controls You?”

    ~New Vine-Inspired Campaign Part of Partnership’s Above the Influence Program for Teens~

    Online Game #PositivATI Empowers Teens to Infuse Positive Messages in Social Media

    NEW YORK – November 11, 2015 – The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a national nonprofit dedicated to reducing substance abuse among adolescents, today launched a new multimedia campaign for teens that illustrates some of the pressures they face, including peer pressure to drink and use drugs, issues with body image and bullying, among others. The “Who Controls You” campaign breaks this month and was created pro-bono by advertising agency, Hill Holliday and award-winning, social media influencer, Maris Jones, as part of the Partnership’s Above the Influence (ATI) teen program.

    “We are incredibly proud of this work. We struck gold when Hill Holliday collaborated with production company, Adolescent and Maris Jones to bring this campaign to life,” said Chief Marketing Officer for the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, Kristi Rowe. “Partnering with a young, talented social media influencer like Maris lent such a unique and authentic voice to this effort. Combining the extraordinary insight and passion of the Hill Holliday team with Maris’ distinct artistry brought an unexpected style to the campaign that makes this creative truly breakthrough.”

    The “Who Controls You” campaign uses a unique depth of field visual device, combined with Jones’ signature stop motion storytelling. Representing negative influence, a large hand seemingly forces the characters to do things they otherwise would not have considered, like reach into a medicine cabinet with a friend and pull out a prescription medicine bottle, reconsider eating because of images seen in the media, or drink too much at a party, among others.

    The campaign is comprised of :15 vignettes that each highlight different pressures, as well as a :30 spot that is a compilation of the same vignettes, which additionally shows a teen who rises above the influence of drinking at a party. View the full campaign here.

    “To talk to teens, we decided to do so in their language, by using a Vine technique popular among them,” said Kevin Daley, Group Creative Director at Hill Holliday. “We were so thrilled to partner with Maris Jones to bring our vision to life .The result was a series of powerful vignettes that we hope are as emotionally compelling as they are visually arresting.”

    “Growing up is tough and I know how it can seem dark during the teenage years. I was honored to help shed light on the problems teens face and to be a voice letting them know that ‘you can stand up’ for what you believe in,” said Maris Jones. “Working with ATI was one of the most important causes I have been a part of, and staying strong and holding your ground as a teen is something that should continue to be enforced to help cope with today’s society.”

    Jones continued, “I love the idea of letting kids know that they are not alone and what they deal with are normal issues that will fade away with time. This project resonated with me because of its themes. We all know the obstacles of growing up, and I was honored to depict these reoccurring issues that sometimes are ignored.”

    The Partnership and Horizon Media have secured pro-bono advertising on teen-targeted TV and online pre-roll to support the campaign, with media running through first quarter of 2016.

    Online Game #PositivATI Empowers Teens Through Positive Messages in Social Media

    In addition to the videos, digital production partner We Are Royale helped create a complementary Twitter-based game called #PositivATI. It gives teens a way to counter the negativity in social media with a little positivity through a simple shooting game; it pulls in real, negative tweets directly from Twitter, which users shoot down for points. For every negative tweet that is knocked out, a positive tweet goes into the thread of the negative hashtag, disrupting the stream of negativity.

    #PositivATI exists as a desktop version, as well as a larger interactive version, which will be used for future community forums and events. The game was first featured as a part of National ATI Day in Washington, D.C. in October. You can play #PositivATI at

    The Above the Influence Campaign

    Above the Influence is a popular and proven-effective drug and alcohol prevention initiative created for American youth. With an online community of over 1.5 million young people, the program has an active, robust audience. The Partnership spearheads all national youth outreach, including advertising, social media and campaign websites for Above the Influence. ATI’s positive impact has been documented in several studies published in respected peer-reviewed journals including American Journal of Public Health and Prevention Science.

    To learn more about the Above the Influence program, visit

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    November 2015

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