NSPCC's 'Johnny Singleton' stunt kickstarts #KidsWithGrownUpProblems at Do it Day

Among the biggest challenges the NSPCC is facing is that only 25% of adults in the UK understand that ChildLine is part of the charity. But when people understand what ChildLine is and the part it plays in keeping children safe, three out of 10 adults are much more likely to support the charity in some way. So how can it connect the two and drive awareness?

At Plan It Day, when teams pitched their creative solutions, the NSPCC picked an idea that drew on the insight that the problems we face as adults aren’t that different to those issues children call ChildLine to talk about such as stress, anxiety, and body confidence. Their underlying message was that children have far fewer outlets to talk about these issues than adults do, which is why ChildLine is so important. It was dubbed #KidsWighGrownUpProblems.

Do It Day on 10 November was used as way to kickstart the #KidsWithGrownUpProblems campaign which, if all goes to plan, it will launch next year.

The team – which consisted of people with creative, planning and production expertise – had spent the preceding weeks not only finessing the concept but landing on an idea for the first piece of content that could be produced on Do it Day and then used in the final campaign execution.

This first piece of creative came in the form of an experiential stunt involving unsuspecting participants at the event held at IBM.

The NSPCC team hired ‘Johnny Singleton’, a motivational speaker, to attend the Do it Day event at IBM in London and give advice on stress management, an issue few in the marketing sector could say they don’t need help with. To encourage people to attended the session, the NSPCC team created meme-esque flyers and pushed the event out on social media.

Attendees gathered and Johnny enthusiastically took to the stage. He began talking about anxiety, stress and depression before giving advice on some of his coping mechanisms.

The twist? ‘Johnny’ was just 13 years old and revealed that one of the most important outlets to deal with these ‘grown up problems’ is ChildLine.

“We really played on expectations and flipped them,” says Victoria Alison, production lead at STV Creative and a member of the winning team – who added that while Johnny might have been an actor, the experiences he described are acutely true for many children today.

“He delivered a presentation that very much highlighted some of the issues that kids get in touch with ChildLine to discuss and that children are very often ill-equipped to deal with [such] very adult issues.”

A film crew was on hand to capture the reaction of the surprised audience and the NSPCC hopes to potentially use it as content within the wider campaign.

The team also used Do It Day to plan and brainstorm how the future online and social campaign would play out. After more research, they decided to narrow the activity’s target audience to teenagers and their parents. The full details are being kept on lockdown until closer to launch though, so stay tuned.

To find out more about what The Drum and some of the world's best-known brands achieved at Do It Day, read our round-up.