We wanted to continue to improve the lives of our Gen Z audience by amplifying unheard voices. We measure how we’re doing this by assessing views, site visits, and by painstakingly documenting what we consider positive impact.
Before Covid-19 hit, we made the strategic decision to push forward on all of the 2020 initiatives we’d planned with the understanding that our content might look different than we’d intended, but maintaining the expectation that our audience still has an appetite for fresh content. Our earliest experimentation was a series of remote originals around In The Know At Home, a special section of the site that was specifically around quarantine DIYs, wellness/anti-anxiety, and WFH hacks. It quickly became clear that our remote techniques could be used for all content, including content on Pride , Latinx Heritage Month, and our Disability initiative. We also launched an advice series (Group Chat) using our own team members. Additionally we delivered on a campaign sold pre-pandemic to the US Census (Animation & Live-Action) employing remote production on four original branded videos. Pre-pandemic, production was meant to take place with live-action talent shots in a studio. We were able to quickly adjust our production-style from in-studio to a remote style of product by adjusting our storytelling to an animated style of video. We also managed to innovate our live-action storyline by adapting the “zoom-like” style of video and using remote influencers.
We exceeded our output goals every month. We quickly generated new in-home formats featuring our editors, including ITK Tried It, ITK’s Pretty Beautiful, and Behind The Stream. Since March 2020, our content has generated over 9 billion cross-channel views.
Some powerful examples of positive impact from our videos include new franchise Good Vibes, highlighting unique ways to spread joy. A young couple took us as they grocery shopped for elderly neighbors at the height of the pandemic; a young man, worried about hospital workers’ immune systems, drove across NYC to deliver them fresh oranges; and our producers filmed innovative DIY projects that inspired viewers to tackle their own at-home projects.
We regularly hear back from changemakers we’ve spotlighted. After our Zoom interview with a woman who provides bookbags and mental health services to kids in the Dominican Republic, she saw a dramatic increase in support.
The intimacy of subjects recording from their own homes created lengthier, more revealing interviews. A challenging but rewarding interview with two brothers, one of whom has Down syndrome, required multiple attempts, but the flexibility of allowing someone with disabilities to be comfortable and speak on his own time made all the difference.