Small change inspires healthier NYC teens
Posted May 23, 2010 by
This case study follows a nutrition awareness campaign that connected with New York City teenagers. Research uncovered what high school kids were eating throughout the day, and post-campaign surveys showed teenagers were starting to make healthier choices.
For over 25 years, Food Bank For New York City has watched low-income teens put their health at risk with poor food choices. So when they decided it was time to get kids thinking about – and making – healthier decisions, they invited AMP to the table.
The Food Bank's challenge to AMP Agency: deliver an integrated nutrition awareness campaign that would cut through the constant barrage of advertising in the city and speak directly to teens.
The only way to really know what New York's teens are eating – and why – is to go straight to the source. So AMP Research dove deep into the targets' lives.
In-person discussion groups uncovered crucial insight while high school lunch rooms visits showed us what kids are served and what they actually eat. Day-long teen shadowing gave us a firsthand look at the food choices they make from morning to night.
We even had students create their own food product ads to better understand how they think food should be advertised.
All this research led to our key insight: teens know that they are not eating healthily, but asking them to give up chips, soda and other junk food cold turkey is just too big of a change.
This insight inspired several concepts, which were revised, refined and presented to teens for feedback. Ultimately, we landed on Change One Thing, a campaign challenging the target to bring about real, positive change in their lives by making one small, healthy change every day.
The best campaign is nothing unless the target sees it. So using zip code targeting and knowledge of the target's media consumption, AMP Media placed Change One Thing where it would guarantee the greatest impact – on bus shelters and urban panels in high-traffic teen hangouts. Live DJ reads and added-value radio presence at local events expanded reach across the city.
The pilot program achieved staggeringly healthy results. Post-campaign surveys showed that many teens had started thinking about eating healthier, with about half actually changing their eating habits. Based on the pilot's great success, Food Bank chose to launch Change One Thing city-wide.