‘Keep it Tame’ youth focused respect online campaign – how did we do it?

Monday 12th November was launch day, the launch of something we are very excited and extremely proud to be involved with. It was kick off day of our Australian youth focused campaign ‘Keep it Tame.’

Zuni was originally invited by the Inspire Foundation to be a part of the project based on the existing relationship Mike and Val had established during previous work at Profero on Smart Online Safe Offline (SOSO) in 2006. A plethora of discussions followed with multitudes of people from the government and not-for-profits, which resulted in Zuni being part of the submission for the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre and I guess the rest is history.

The framework for the first year of the 5 year project with the Young and Well CRC was centred around the youth participation model and crowd sourcing the creative concept.

Our overarching theme of respectful behaviour online came from a few different places including sector partners providing their insights on the issues young people are facing and from there the team consolidated the themes in order to identity the umbrella theme of respect. At this point University of South Australia (UniSA) completed a literature review around the theme of respect and once the issue was further defined, we addressed this in an online forum of the Consultative Working Group (CWG) on Cybersafety utilising the  Youth Advisory Group (YAG).This helped us to understand the realities of the problem for young people and their definitions of respectful and disrespectful behaviours online.

Once we had our theme well and truly locked down, we circulated a creative brief to a hand-picked ‘crowd’ of people who came from all walks of life including media partners, Creative Directors, Creative Agencies, concept generators and of course a group of keen young people. The crowd were competing against each other for a prize pool of $4000 for great ideas. We excitedly sifted through the responses and came up with four clear concepts that we felt had strong possibilities.

How did we make sure these concepts aligned with our target audience? Well, we decided who better to talk to than young people themselves. Focus groups were run in Sydney, Adelaide and Weipa (worth a Google – we are talking the tip of Australia!) to suss out just what they thought about the top four concepts which were presented in easy-to-understand scamp style images. Upon consolidating their feedback, it left us in no doubt as to which idea was the clear winner.

We took the winning concept in our hot little hands to SOAP Creative a brilliant creative agency which we had long admired for their quirky youth focused campaigns, and asked if they would be interested in partnering with us on this campaign we felt so passionate about – much to our delight they jumped on board and were extremely keen to be a part of a campaign that is truly noble at heart.

Further concepting and a plethora of excited brainstorming abounded until we settled on the idea that mobile devices, tablets and computers are so integrated into young people’s ‘everyday’, they essentially become an extension of your mouth in that they can be used to spread good or bad things. We identified that it only takes a split second decision to share that photo, like that status or comment negatively for things to get out of control and become nasty. We wanted young people to be more aware of their online actions and really just ‘Keep it Tame.’

At the heart of this campaign lies a longitudinal study that aims to measure  behavioural change, aiming to encourage Australian youth to shift disrespectful behaviour online in the coming years as a result of interacting with our campaign (and subsequent campaigns). Our research team (headed by Dr.Barbara Spears) worked long and hard throughout our pilot campaign to generate a cohort of young people which we could work with to track whether or not the campaign had any influence over how they would behave online in the future. As the pilot we are still exploring different and better ways to be able to do this over the next few years.

We have also partnered with Nielsen to carry out an in depth campaign effectiveness study that will really shed some light on how the campaign went with our target audience. BuzzNumbers have come on board pro bono to provide social media tracking of conversations to understand the impact and discussions around Keep it Tame.

The dubiously named ‘Magic Tracker’ (thanks to Mike Zeederberg) started off as a thought that soon became a reality. This innovative approach led us to partner with the wonderful data experts at Datalicious to talk about bringing the idea to life with some technical wizardry. This solution to campaign tracking has been created to become the longer term digital identification that effectively tracks both opt-in survey cohort responses (mentioned above) matched to online behaviours and exposure to campaign messaging over the 5 year period. It also has an in-built mechanism that when changes occur in the device fingerprints of individuals, it triggers an alert so we can attempt to reconnect with those individuals. Thus it works in conjunction with the cohort study that will survey and interview young people over time – and will help to measure the impact on behaviour change.

What about the campaign you say?

The campaign follows the journey of an animated creature (which represents a mobile device) that guides young users through an interactive experience that highlights that sometimes our youth don’t think before they act online, resulting in respect being thrown out the window and things turning nasty very quickly. The experience is designed to plant a seed in the minds of young people that they need to think before they post, and use the tools available to them to create a safe and respectful online experience for themselves and their friends.


We partnered with the fantastic Nic Halley the owner of Mindbox and his lovely team to get his expert advice on all things media and whip it all into shape so that it could run as a cohesive online display campaign that would get maximum reach and clicks possible from our target audience.

View and share the Keep it Tame campaign. Keen to learn more about the campaign? There is also a fantastic blog post from Croakey which really talks to the heart of the campaign.

This project with its wide stakeholder group, variety of tracking methodologies, goal of behavioural change, quirky creative and of course, deep involvement of young people has been both exciting and challenging,  and we look forward to the coming years were we can learn from our pilot campaign and create bigger and better things that really speak to the youth of Australia. A huge thanks to everyone who was involved, the passion from everybody has been both phenomenal and inspiring.

Remember to think before you post and Keep It Tame.


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