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Google’s Effort to Raise the Next Generation of Upstanders

Audience Honor in Public Service Announcement


We see it everywhere – in social captions, podcast names, even t-shirts: parents want to “raise good humans.” And yet, it’s an uphill battle, as we continue to hear about cyberbullying on the rise, with worrying statistics:

How do we foster an online world of kindness, and arm caretakers with the tools to teach our youngest digital citizens? Our answer: raising the next generation of Upstanders- people who recognize when something is wrong and act to make it right.

In honor of National Bullying Prevention Month in October we encouraged families and communities to work together to focus on raising a community of Upstanders in an effort to spread kindness and combat cyberbullying. Through the resources available for free from Google’s Be Internet Awesome program, parents and teachers are given the tools to have important conversations around bullying and how to spread kindness. When looking at success, we measured our goals via two social KPIs: 

Strategy and Execution

We designed our strategy with three core tactics as a baseline:  

  1. Messaging with language that would resonate with parents, caregivers and educators alike;

  2. “Parent to Parent” communication; 

  3. Prioritizing video content to maximize reach.

When it came to messaging, the language we crafted was a natural extension of phrasing we know resonates with parents, while remaining actionable. “Let’s raise Upstanders” felt community driven and purposeful to give space for audiences to feel empowered around a shared message that implies we’re all in it together. It was important to keep the positioning uplifting, to show we have tools we can all leverage as a positive and constructive solution. We wanted to really make sure that parents felt that everything in social feeds would be attainable and approachable to encourage parents to say "I can give that a try".

We partnered with strategic influencer channels to co-create and host the PSAs versus having this live on a Google owned channel to allow us to truly connect parent to parent. This lended the topic a very resonant introduction from parents sharing emotional stories to quickly establish the importance of taking action and then offering advice on simple ways to start teaching our kids how to be Upstanders. In designing the PSAs with our partners, we were able to keep the messaging helpful and feel less branded as each family personalized their approach to introducing Google’s resources.

The final common thread across all the unique PSAs was leveraging video for reach. At the time, Instagram had been vocal about their focus on video, specifically Reels. Our partners were able to take their audiences deeper in understanding the helpfulness of the program while inspiring meaningful conversations around bullying and how they are raising their kids to be Upstanders, all while having the algorithm on their side to bring the message further. 


Alongside 20 diverse parent partners, we generated 40 pieces of social content across Instagram that introduced the idea of “raising Upstanders” in support of a kinder internet resulting in +3M real impressions and 146k engagements. 

More importantly though, was the quality of engagements we saw around the idea of raising Upstanders and the tools available to help facilitate those conversations with 59% of follower comments related to the campaign (+32% increase of our SOV benchmark). Across the comments, we saw two main narratives emerge that showcased resonance among parents and caregivers: 

  1. Praise surrounding conversation and resources for raising Upstanders via comments like, “What a great program for kids. Being kind on- and offline- is such an important and relevant topic;” 

Highlighting the importance of teaching kids how to combat bullying online via comments like, “this is such an important conversation. I frankly feel overwhelmed… but am so thankful for resources like this.”


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Anchor, Google


Entry Credits