In 2022, Kids Help Phone and Wattpad teamed up to raise awareness of RiseUp powered by Kids Help Phone, an e-mental health support service that connects Black youth across Canada with trained volunteer crisis responders.
Kids Help Phone’s main objective was to reach those in the Black youth community struggling with their mental health and Wattpad knew that back-to-school season was the best time to address this—especially given it was the first in-person school year since COVID.
Our goal was to foster meaningful connections between Black youth on Wattpad and beyond by onboarding three Black Wattpad influencers and asking them to release a letter to their younger selves ahead of their first day of highschool. Sharing their personal lived experiences was a way of creating a community that would rally behind the RiseUp messaging and support one another to seek the support they may need.
In collaboration with Kids Help Phone, Wattpad brought this project to life through a multifaceted campaign that aimed to extend the reach of the RiseUp program among Black youth on Wattpad, by connecting with them in a meaningful and powerful way. We did this by enlisting three of our top Black Creators to reflect on their own personal journeys by writing a letter to their younger selves ahead of their first day of school. Using the power of storytelling, our Creators produced compelling stories that resonated with our target audience.
With the understanding that mental health support within marginalized communities is a sensitive topic, Wattpad wanted to ensure that the letters were inclusive and not alienating. Leaning on our influencers to be the primary drivers of the campaign messaging meant relying on their ability to create content that resonated with their Wattpad fanbase. We enlisted the support of our DEI team and onboarded an external Cultural Consultant to the project to guide the writers, while maintaining the integrity of the letters and promoting inclusivity. Working around tight timelines and time zone challenges, this process added critical additional layers of stakeholder reviews.
To drive traffic to the letters, we executed a full-stack media plan that included custom media assets, native media units, hyper-targeted media, and an in-app home feed takeover. We also ran in-app and web media spots featuring Kids Help Phone’s RiseUp creatives to extend the campaign's reach and drive users to their landing page.
What made this campaign truly unique was the overwhelming amount of positive user sentiment from the community, resulting in a larger-than-life idea. To spread the RiseUp message even further, we locked in a featured ad spot in movie theaters across Canada. This meant adapting the mobile asset into a video spot fit for the big screen, and translating the asset from mobile device specs to larger cinema specs without doing a re-shoot. This posed many challenges on the creative side and added additional legal layers to ensure we had appropriate clearances in place in time for the asset to run.
We successfully overcame these hurdles as a team in time for the asset to launch as a prelude to some of the biggest and most contextually relevant movies that were released in 2022—”Wakanda Forever” and “CREED”, further enabling this campaign and the program to reach relevant audiences across Canada.
The Creator custom stories generated more than 16,000 total reads across all three stories and the campaign garnered more than 5.5 million impressions across all media placements.
Working with an external Cultural Consultant for this program inspired Wattpad to implement new internal processes to ensure success for future programs that deal with sensitive subject matter and niche audiences. What made this program particularly successful was the overwhelmingly positive