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BHF ‘Sick Rick’ digital campaign

BHF ‘Sick Rick’ digital campaign


Full service digital agency Avenue A | Razorfish was recently tasked with targeting the untargettable for the British Heart Foundation’s first completely online campaign.
Food4Thought was created by the BHF to raise awareness of the health risks posed by junk food, and is aimed at ‘tweens’ - 11 to 13 year old children – traditionally considered as the most difficult age group to reach.

The campaign’s aim is to engage its audience by using a series of six amusing, provocative and deliberately hard-hitting short films featuring the grotesque exploits of cartoon character ‘Sick Rick’ as he explores the truth behind junk food and the techniques used to market it to children.

In order to identify and target this hard-to-reach age group and lead them to the central campaign site , Avenue A | Razorfish applied logic and common-sense to in-depth research and analysis of children’s online behaviour.

As a result, the agency used intelligent targeting to strategically place specially created rich media content on sites such as Piczo, Bebo, YouTube and particularly Microsoft Live, where the intended audience is likely to be found.
The agency noted that 11 to 13 year olds tend to be aspirational, looking up to their older peers. With this in mind, the media strategy allowed for overlap, also appealing to 14 and 15 year olds who may create a buzz at home and in the playground.
Key to ensuring that the audience saw the campaign message was targeting by time of day, concentrating particularly on the periods of high internet usage after school – from 3pm to 4pm and from 7pm to 9pm.
The research showed that the main online pastimes for 11 to 13 year olds are entertainment and chat and, by evaluating demographics and content, the agency was able to quickly identify potentially relevant sites.
The biggest obstacle lay in profile targeting for under-13s, the greatest issue being that there is little or no data on web users under 15. Driven largely by general moral policy and ASA guidelines, publishers with profile data do not allow targeting and rarely track under 13s, and there are no analysis tools available to identify under 15s in the UK.
However, while Yahoo and Bebo do not allow children under 13 to register, many tend to ignore this, entering false information. Aware that parental controls often mask children’s online whereabouts, Avenue A | Razorfish analysed Comscore stats on the usage of such youth-oriented sites.

It found a disproportionately high level of usage by 35-44 year olds (70% of whom have children) and concluded that these users were likely to be children logging in with their parents’ IDs at home.


By applying the same logic to an analysis of YouTube users, it was further able to identify over 800,000 11 to 14 year olds on the video sharing site.
By the end of the first two weeks, the ads had achieved over 14 million interactions (mouse-overs), which represent a 28.89pc interaction rate.
The rich media ads expand to full size upon mouse-over, and through the use of a ‘teaser film’ they introduce the campaign messages in a funny and engaging way. So far they have achieved an expansion rate of 23.69%. The average duration of expansion was 55 seconds (which included 20 seconds of video).

During these two weeks, the campaign site received 424,745 unique visitors from the ads, representing a click-through rate (percentage of Total Clicks out of Served Impressions) from of 1.56%.
However, Avenue A | Razorfish, aware that the audience (11 to 13 year olds)  tend not to click on ads through fear of downloading something inappropriate , did not use click-through rates a key metric.
The ‘Sick Rick’ videos have received 58,999 views on YouTube, and last week Avenue A | Razorfish was awarded Eyeblaster’s Creative Campaign of the Month.
BHF Director of Policy and Communications, Betty McBride, said, “Junk food manufacturers are laying a multi-million pound honey trap for children.  They are luring kids into their online playgrounds or stalking them on food packaging at the breakfast table.

“The ‘Junk Monkeys’ campaign uses humour to help convey our messages, and from the results so far, looks like it’s going to be a fantastic success.”

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