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Special Project

Special Project
From the 12th Annual Shorty Awards

You Can't Imagine the Reward

Gold Honor in Non-Profit

Entered in Social Good Campaign


Most parents looking to adopt a child will usually opt for younger children as opposed to teenagers, fearing they’ll fail a child who has been failed in the past. This leads to lower adoption rates for teenagers, who wind up spending 50% more time in foster care than younger kids. The goal of this project was to change that perception and increase teen adoption rates.  

Strategy and Execution

Teens who are adopted are often seen as the “lucky ones,” however, our interviews with the families almost entirely focused on the positive impact their adopted teens had on them. The families actually considered themselves to be real the “lucky ones.” Using hours of conversation with adoptive families as source material, we created a campaign that cemented the idea that “you can’t imagine the reward” you’ll gain when adopting a teenager. These first-hand accounts brought a genuine warmth to a campaign that consisted of broadcast spots, digital videos, social, radio, print, and out-of-home placements.


The work was featured across a variety of media, appearing on the Today Show and FOX, national web outlets like US News and The Drum, as well as relevant print publications like Parents Magazine. This, combined with a robust social media campaign, led to over 531 million earned media impressions, and reached over 1 million people organically in its first week. It became the highest performing Facebook post ever for the charity organization, with over 7,000 shares, and AdoptUsKids saw a spike of 353,000 users visit their site in November 2019 alone. But most importantly, over 1,000 people requested to be contacted about teen adoption via


Video for You Can't Imagine the Reward

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Barbarian, Ad Council & AdoptUSKids


Entry Credits