12th Annual Futures Competition


Last week we hosted our 12th Annual Advertising Futures Competition to honor our commitment to professional development across the industry. 16 agencies partnered with 16 different high schools to create an anti-bullying campaign and encourage pre-teens and teens to stand against bullying.

To share the stats: 

  • The brief, I Am A Witness, was provided by the AD Council and encouraged pre-teens and teens to stand against bullying
  • 16 agencies and schools participated this year
  • Competition Location- Microsoft (2nd year in a row hosting)

The winning teams:

  • 1st Place- HB4 Chelsea + Susan E. Wanger High School
  • 2nd Place- Deutsch + High School for Economics and Finance
  • 3rd Place- Publicis + Tottenville High School

The Jury:

  • Danielle Bartolo, Research Director, AdCouncil
  • Alex Amado, VP of Experience Marketing, Adobe
  • Julie Levin, CMO, Publicis North America

Bullying Prevention

Campaign: Bullying Prevention

NGO Partners: The Bully Project; GLSEN; The Trevor Project

Corporate/Media Partners: Adobe, Apple, Meta, Google,Meta, Johnson & Johnson, Snapchat, Twitter

Launch Date: October 22, 2015 – Ad Age

Issue Background: Among teens aged 12-17, 88% report witnessing bullying on social media, but less than 20% intervene – whether it’s because they are unsure what to do, or because they fear being the next victim. What they don’t realize, however, is that all of these witnesses feel the same way and they are, in fact, not alone. 

Campaign Strategy Summary: Ad Council is leading a coalition of nonprofit, corporate, and media partners to address bullying through a digital and social media PSA campaign.The campaign aims to stop bullying by activating the “silent majority” of kids who witness it each day and create a collective of active witnesses, not bystanders, to speak up, be a friend and reject bullying.

Campaign Objectives: Provide kids who witness bullying with meaningful tips and tools to take action and stop bullying

Target Audience: Teens age 11-15 who witness bullying.

Key Message: If you see bullying, take action to stop it.

Call to Action: Speak up. Reject bullying. Be a friend. Learn what else you can do at [fulfillment site].

Working Creative Idea (TBC): “I Am A Witness”

Campaign Execution: Digital media partners, such as Meta, Google/YouTube, Apple, Twitter and Snapchat, will develop and support platform-specific executions based on the overall campaign concept. Assets will drive to a campaign microsite on Tumblr that will include valuable tips and resources for kids on different ways they can take action to help stop bullying.

One of the prominent elements of the campaign is an eye emoji. Emojis have become a second language for teenagers. Tapping into that behavior, the campaign will leverage a recently approved eye Emoji to use as a symbol against bullying that is seen online. The Emoji can be used to identify online bullying and/or show support to someone who is being bullied online.

Success Metrics:

  • Speaking Up: Increasing the number of witnesses who speak up when exposed to bullying events.
  • Supporting Those Being Bullied: Increasing the number of witnesses who take action to show support of someone who is being bullied.
  • Rejecting Bullying: Increasing the number of witnesses who refuse to join in on bullying activities.
  • Feeling Empowered: Attitudinal shifts in teens’ perceptions of their ability to positively impact bullying.


Check out the photos here!