To highlight just how horrible cyber bullying can be, the Canadian Safe School Network's anti-bullying campaign, Stand Together, created a series of banner ads that "bullied" influencers and bloggers.
The ads -- with mean messages such as "Nobody likes you" and "That shirt makes you look stupid" -- mirrored online retargeting, literally following people around the web as they viewed different sites, serving as a reminder that for some kids, there is no escape from bullying. The campaign, by Toronto agency BIMM, encouraged influencers to then share their experiences online.
The agency worked with Touche Media and AOL in Canada. To get the campaign rolling, Creative Director Rene Rouleau explained that the agency sent e-vites to key influencers, press and bloggers for a major anti-bullying event. "We asked these unsuspecting people to click on the unique and personalized URL in the email to see more anti-bullying info and event details," he said. "Once anyone clicked on that unique URL, unbeknownst to them, we had them. They were now cookied and could be tracked, and then we could start serving them our 'Bully Ads.'"
The ads actually "had no resolve, no explanation or payoff -- again a challenge but AOL respected the idea and the cause," he said. "And if some of them did notice the Bully Ads and actually clicked through than our job was done, and we revealed what we done to them and why -- on the landing page."