“Don’t Indulge the Bulge”October 7th, 2011
“Don’t Indulge the Bulge” Campaign Tackling Teen Obesity Takes First Place
Grace Dodge Career & Technical High School Wins Advertising Futures Student Competition at Advertising Week
A group of five Grace Dodge Career & Technical High School students won first place this week at the Advertising Week Advertising Futures competition, a partnership between the Ad Council, the New York City Department of Education and Virtual Enterprises. The program is in its eighth year and pairs teams of high school students with top advertising agencies to be mentored through the creation of an ad – from conception to execution.
Mentored by Tribal DDB New York, the winning students from Grace Dodge Career & Technical High School competed with students from more than 30 other public high schools in New York City—also paired with agencies — to develop a campaign to tackle teen obesity. The students were tasked with creating a public service announcement for First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative, which is aimed at encouraging teens to think and act differently about diet and exercise, and about the amount of time they spend online and using mobile technology.
The number of obese children in the U.S. is at an all-time high, with more children than ever developing obesity-related illnesses like diabetes, heart disease indicators, sleep apnea, and asthma. This is the first generation of young Americans who will see 25 percent of their peers fail to qualify for military service because they are overweight, and this may be the first generation of kids who do not live as long as their parents did.
“Brilliant work by Grace Dodge and Tribal DDB,” said Matt Scheckner, Executive Director of Advertising Week. “While all of the students and agencies in Advertising Futures benefit by participating, there is a winner each year and we could not be more proud of or agree more with the campaign, ‘Don’t Indulge the Bulge.’”
“It was refreshing to work with students who thought creatively and who challenged us as well as themselves,” said Kinney Edwards, Group Creative Director, Tribal DDB New York. “They wanted to win from the start, but questioned the very possibility with great disbelief. We asked them to focus on an idea that they could believe in, something that they could walk away from knowing they had exhausted all possibilities and which felt right and had meaning, even if the idea didn’t win.”
“Once we had helped the students frame the challenge for themselves, we initiated fluid thinking and facilitated an atmosphere of being open to all ideas,” said Jason Macbeth, Creative Director, Tribal DDB New York. “Towards the end of the process we encouraged them to scrutinize all of their potential ideas, to be absolutely certain that the idea they decided to develop met the brief squarely. We’re very excited about Grace Dodge’s win.”
The ad, which will run in The New York Times and appear on a Times Square billboard, was designed by the students to generate awareness and encourage other students to choose real play, real interactions, and real food. The creative is based on their insight that “the bulge” – which represents junk food, lack of activity, and increased time spent online, watching TV, playing video games and texting – is something that kids can either choose to indulge in or take an active role in fighting. The ad—“Don’t Indulge the Bulge”—features happy, healthy, active students outside, opting not to give in to the “bulge.” The illustration was created pro bono by Canadian artist Ted Hammond.