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Above the Influence
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), working with the advertising agency Draftfcb, created a multichannel communications campaign called “Above the Influence.” The Above the Influence campaign focuses on teens who are newly exposed to peer substance use. Their lives are filled with pressure—to fit in, to grow up, to stretch, to succeed, to define themselves. Above the Influence helps to prevent and reduce teen use of drugs and alcohol by positioning substance use and the influence that promotes substance use as an “influence” that makes you “less than you.” The brand campaign launched in 2005, and has evolved to incorporate active participation among teens through activities, discussions and content creation.
Facebook Executive Summary
Objective: To engage teens with credible information on substance abuse and allow them to interact with one another to create an authentic conversation around drugs, alcohol and the influences that surround them every day. Solution: Target like-minded teens with Facebook Ads to cultivate and support an active user group on the Above the Influence Facebook Page Key Lessons: • Facebook targeting can be an effective tool for identifying a teen demographic and encouraging teens to join a community • The Facebook platform enables organizations to obtain a wide variety of feedback from its audience, which can inform and lead an initiative
The objective of the Above the Influence Facebook Page is to engage teens with credible information on substance abuse and allow them to interact with one another to create an authentic conversation around drugs, alcohol and the influences that surround them every day. The Above the Influence campaign has leveraged social media as a key communications tool, ensuring the brand message is communicated in an environment most relevant to teens, with Facebook being a critical component. Facebook has provided an authentic platform that facilitates true dialogue, builds positive
“While many people focus on overall page growth as a metric for success, we have focused on ‘quality’ Like growth. In this regard, what targeting on Facebook delivers often exceeds our expectations. The quality of our audience is evident in the engagement rates we are seeing, which are continuously going higher, month after month. Facebook targeting has helped us create a supportive community for teens to come and share with other like-minded teens.”
Nick Fico, Digital Strategist, Draftfcb
Advertising Case Study
brand interactions, and enables the Above the Influence message to be delivered through the voice of teens, thus making it more credible.
The presence of the Above the Influence brand within Facebook began as a fan-created community that officially launched as a Page in June 2010. Media support followed in November and featured Facebook Ads encouraging teens to visit the Above the Influence Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/ AbovetheInfluence) in addition to the Above the Influence website (www.abovetheinfluence.com). The goal of the Facebook Ads campaign was to continue to raise awareness for the brand’s philosophy and its available resources, and to drive quality fan growth for the Above the Influence Facebook Page. To achieve these goals, Above the Influence approached U.S. teens 13- to 17-years-old on Facebook with a two-pronged strategy. First, it reached out to general market teens and directed them to the Above the Influence website, where teens could learn more about Above the Influence and increase their knowledge regarding substance use and negative influences. Secondarily, Above the Influence targeted teens who shared the brand’s sentiments and encouraged them to join the Above the Influence Facebook community. Ads targeted to the latter group of teens were identified as having a potential affinity for Above the Influence based on what the teens shared in their public profiles. This could include stated involvement in community coalitions (e.g., YMCA, Jewish Community Center, etc.), and/or statements against substance abuse (e.g., “I don’t drink or smoke”). The ads used provocative messages such as “Live Above and Inspire,” encouraging users to join the conversation and make their voices heard on the Above the Influence Facebook Page.
To encourage engagement with Above the Influence, teens that showed affinity for the brand were also served Premium Video Ads featuring Above the Influence television commercials. One Video Ad asks, “What keeps these teens Above the Influence? Watch this commercial and let us know. Like our Page for more discussions.” With the understanding that teens across the country have embraced Above the Influence as their voice in resisting negative influences—particularly drugs and alcohol—it was important to build a strong community where teens felt empowered to be themselves and share their experiences with peers. “The Above the Influence Facebook community supports the mission and fights for the ideals that we are talking about,” says Dana Fiore, Account Executive at Draftfcb. “The fans know it’s a safe place for them to have honest discussions.” The campaign’s success has come from establishing a cohesive online community through targeted advertising efforts, careful moderation and frequent brand postings helping to guide and encourage ongoing conversation.
Advertising Case Study
• The Above the Influence Facebook Page gained 99,680 new fans as a direct result of the ad campaign and has gained a total of 196,547 new fans since the beginning of the overall campaign. As of mid-July 2011, Above the Influence had more than 255,000 fans, giving the campaign a big base of teen influencers who can spread its message. The campaign’s engagement rates have been as high as 3 percent, surpassing the brand’s typical engagement rates. According to Nick Fico, Digital Strategist at Draftfcb, “Since the launch of the Facebook ad campaign in November, the community’s growth has tripled, even quadrupled.” The campaign’s videos were viewed more than 55,000 times. The ads were viewed nearly 161 million times, with the campaign generating an additional 70 million “social impressions” or views when friends liked the Facebook Page.
Moving forward, Above the Influence looks to continue to leverage the Facebook platform as a catalyst for teen discussion on influence in their life, including drug and alcohol use. “It’s a critical part of what the campaign is doing, the platform where the conversation is going on,” says Dana. “The teens are generating the dialogue, sharing their stories and supporting each other. They are the inspiration for other teens to make their voices heard.”
The passion of the Above the Influence Facebook community has been evident in the campaign’s high engagement rates. Nick says, “We’re seeing engagement rates on average of 0.70 to 0.80 percent, and sometimes even over multiple percentage points, which was not common for the brand before the advertising campaign began.” Draftfcb attributes the high engagement rates to frequent brand postings of questions to the community, which positions the fans as experts and allows them to share their expertise with peers. “It becomes more peer to peer. We become the moderators and shape the conversation, letting them help each other,” explains Nick. Above the Influence has leveraged advertising efforts, in addition to brand posts, to identify and engage teen advocates.