Every child deserves love, care and protection during childhood so they can develop to their full potential. But for more than 700 million children worldwide, their experiences are much different.
In commemoration of International Children's Day 2017, Save the Children launched The End of Childhood Index, exploring the major factors that force childhood to an early end. The indicators used to measure the end of childhood are: under-5 mortality, malnutrition that stunts growth, out-of-school children, child labor, early marriage, adolescent births, displacement by conflict and child homicide.
For a matter of such significance, a simple press release wouldn't do. So Save the Children tapped Weber Shandwick to help them generate awareness, media and conversation, and empathy around the End of Childhood Report.
The End of Childhood Report was released on a custom microsite – EndofChilhood.org – where people could download the Index, read about the eight childhood enders, and take action to make a difference.
Also on the site was a unique video developed by Weber Shandwick to bring awareness to the cause. This piece of content put an unexpected spin on the genre of unboxing videos. With view-counts in the hundreds of millions, unboxing videos are a global social phenomenon – especially with children – featuring someone opening a product (e.g. a toy, a phone, a TV, etc.) and describing every step of the “unboxing" process.
Our unboxing series – one compilation video and three individual videos – featured three children opening what they assumed to be toys; however, each box actually contained an object that reflected a childhood ender – a pickaxe (forced labor), a positive pregnancy test (childhood pregnancy), and ammunition (forced conflict).
Without a paid media budget, we turned to creative media methods – planting our series among real unboxing videos on YouTube and Facebook to intercept viewers when they least expected.
To expand our organic reach, we tapped into Save the Children's regional Facebook pages around the globe and had them post our videos. While there was a single compilation video, we also had three individual videos each in a different language (English, Spanish, and Mandarin). This enabled specific regions to post the video that best suited their locale.
Along with the launch of the microsite on International Children's Day, we also arranged a takeover of Facebook's own “Nonprofits on Facebook" page. Throughout the day, we linked to the Index, posted our unboxing video, and created a steady stream of supporting content – but the highlight of this takeover was a Facebook Live video featuring Dr. Jill Biden and Save the Children CEO Carolyn Miles, which we produced at Facebook's New York office.
Relying solely on organic reach vs paid media dollars, we more than doubled our goals and vastly exceeded our – and our client's – expectations.
To date, our video series has received more than 2.3 million views, reaching audiences in 36 countries around the globe and garnering nearly 250,000 engagements.
The campaign also secured coverage in Fast Company, HuffPo, Salon, NBC News and trades including Campaign and O'Dwyers. The End of Childhood report garnered additional coverage globally in outlets like Reuters, Yahoo News, New York Newsday, Daily News, and CNN.com where Dr. Jill Biden gave a guest POV.
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