The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Unveils New Multimedia Youth Campaign Using Emojis to Let Teens Know #WeGotYou

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~ New Initiative Part of Partnership’s Above the Influence Program ~

 New York – July 7, 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 uses emojis to communicate the challenges of negative influences, empowering them to live Above the Influence. The campaign breaks this week and was created pro-bono for the Partnership by Boston-based advertising agency, Hill Holliday, as part of the Partnership’s Above the Influence (ATI) teen program.

The initiative titled #WeGotYou consists of an integrated campaign written in emojis and anchored in a mobile experience. Teens are driven to a mobile website through digital out-of-home, cinema, mobile, social, pre-roll and print advertising. Individual emoji sentences in each of the ads act as cryptic messages, encouraging teens to “crack the code” via the unique URL featured at the end of each ad.

“The entire campaign was born out of a very simple idea: speak to teens in their language. It just so happened that language was emojis. Linguistically they were the perfect fit for our audience – emojis are today’s teen slang. The fact that our emoji messages effectively act as codes allowed us to target our communication to a very specific audience, while engaging them in an ongoing conversation,” said Amanda Roberts, Copywriter for Hill Holliday. “We named this effort ‘#WeGotYou’ to help reinforce the simple, but powerful sentiment that Above the Influence understands what today’s teens are going through, and that they’ve got their back with resources and a community if they ever need help.”

Gamifying the experience, the mobile site allows teens to “get emojinal” by cracking a series of codes which tackle various challenges teens face, including drugs and alcohol, relationships, body image and bullying. Teens are provided thought-provoking facts, empowering messages, as well as the ability to submit their own emoji sentences to be posted to the site. Shareable assets embedded within the site (GIFs) allow teens to share the experiences with friends in a very natural way, making use of a native medium of communication. The mobile site also links to for more support.

“We are thrilled about this new campaign and to interact with teens in a really engaging way,” said Kristi Rowe, Chief Marketing Officer for the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “ATI continues to be the only national prevention program messaging to teens in the U.S. and, more importantly, the only one that captures their genuine voice and desire to rise above negative influences to be their authentic selves. The #WeGotYou campaign is also the first major initiative we are rolling out since the Partnership officially took the reins on Above the Influence and we are really proud of the work.”

Rowe added, “It has been a true privilege to work with Hill Holliday. They have been incredibly creative and blew us away with their powerful insights into teens and unique approach to this campaign, using emojis to speak to teens in ‘their language.’ They put some of their youngest, brightest minds on this project and the result is a one-a-kind-campaign that we are beyond excited about.”

Horizon Media is supporting the #WeGotYou campaign with an estimated $8 million of pro-bono digital OOH media support for the campaign. Inventory is spread across various markets with placements ranging from high frequency mall and movie theater screens to high impact units in New York City’s Times Square and across the country.

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

Creative Credits:

Chief Creative Officer-Lance Jensen

Group Creative Director-Kevin Daley

Creative Director-Rick McHugh

Copywriter-Amanda Roberts

Art Director-Alyssa Fishman

Agency Producer-Bryan Sweeney

Account Team-Jeff Nowak, Kelly Sullivan

Project Manager-Julie Heger

Planner-Ross Cidlowski

Animator/Illustrator-Marcio Lima, Scott Woolwine, Bryan Moehlenkamp

Graphics-Jacqueline Hull, Katie Schikowski, Kelsea Ashworth, Marcio Lima

Experience Designer/UX-Maggie Foley, Jessica Holt-Carr, Jamie Scheu

Digital Production Company-Hill Holliday

Digital Creative-Amanda Roberts, Alyssa Fishman

Digital Developer-Eric Callan, Rob Erskine

Interactive Producer-Kaitlyn Blanchette

Technology-John Running, Steve Callan

Quality Assurance Specialist-Chris Martin

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