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Unhealthy Connections

Finalist in Fitness, Health, & Wellness, Non-Profit, Public Service Announcement


The One Love Foundation asked minds + assembly to create a live-action PSA campaign as a follow-up to their previous animated “Love is Learned” campaign. This campaign was to focus on digital abuse, to help young people navigate the unique, hidden challenges of online relationships. The communication objectives were to establish One Love as the go-to place to learn about relationship health, reach broader, more diverse audiences in order to make critical strides to change the statistics around relationship abuse and improve the relationship health of future generations, and increase site traffic to

One Love shared a wealth of recent research, data, and quotes from young people. These strategic insights helped us decide which types of abusive digital behaviors would resonate with our target audience. An abundance of qualitative research on sending nudes, manipulation, jealousy, and control in a digital context helped us sharpen our approach and tap into the terror of digital abuse.

The primary audience for this PSA campaign was middle school, high school, and college-aged youth. The secondary audience was parents, educators, and mentors of Gen-Z youth.

To showcase a topic that often isn’t taken seriously (“just turn off your phone!”), we needed a serious approach. While One Love’s previous campaign featured colorful animation and a lighthearted tone, we needed something gripping to start important conversations for young people and the adults in their lives and drive them to One Love for educational support.


Relationships today are conducted extensively online.Young adults forge connections in private spaces, hiding behind closed doors away from the view of their friends and family. They are increasingly subject to unhealthy and potentially dangerous behaviors. Our idea was to create a series of PSAs in which the camera moves towards a door with abusive behavior heard from the other side of it—but when the door opens, it's revealed that the victim is alone in the room, and that the abusive behavior was occurring entirely on the victim's phone. With this approach, we could communicate that digital abuse should be taken just as seriously as other forms of abuse.

We landed on a PSA series called "Unhealthy Connections". Highlighting the experiences of four unique teen characters in the tone of a horror movie, we were able to help One Love expose young people and their caregivers to unhealthy digital behaviors that thrive in secrecy and encourage them to learn about how healthy relationships grow in the light.

The PSAs capture the seriousness of digital abuse and its impact, regardless of gender/orientation:





The 4 PSAs garnered 40 million impressions and drove a 125% increase in site traffic on One Love’s website, with 96% of traffic stemming from new visitors. This aligned to the overall goals of the non-profit organization.

In addition to the favorable statistics related to viewership and website traffic, the most striking success metric to minds + assembly and One Love was the conversation happening in the comments of the PSA on Instagram. These PSAs created a platform for people to speak up about their own experiences in digitally abusive relationships, helped people realize how harmful digital abuse can be, and encouraged engagement in constructive dialogue about the nuances of digital relationship behaviors.

People often identified with characters in the PSAs—and many realized they had never seen these behaviors be framed as abusive before.


Video for Unhealthy Connections

Entrant Company / Organization Name

minds + assembly, The One Love Foundation


Entry Credits