LG Mobile Phones is adding a dose of humor to its adult-targeted responsible texting efforts. The company has signed Emmy nominee and "Glee" standout Jane Lynch to star in a series of comedic vignettes to discuss how to model responsible texting behaviors to kids.
The videos, which are being posted on www.LGTextEd.com, depict Lynch as a former "text offender" who gets scared straight and turns to educating others about issues such as sexting, texting while driving, mobile bullying and other behaviors.
The introductory video takes a Hollywood scandal-type approach, proclaiming Lynch as being on top of the world with fame, money and power, but that she "had a dark secret she could no longer hide." The video then cuts to Lynch talking and texting while being chased by cops. She is eventually arrested in a "fall from grace that had all the makings of a made-for-the-Internet movie." Her punishment, according to the video, is community service in teaching parents about mobile phone abuse and teen texting issues.
"We wanted the star of the videos to be someone who could deliver the message about teen behaviors in a way that was both humorous and meaningful," Demetra Kavadeles, a representative for LG, tells Marketing Daily, in e-mailed responses to questions. "As a comedic actress, Jane has a unique style that worked perfectly for what we had in mind. It was also important that this person be a parent and could appeal to parents and teens alike."
Lynch recently married her long-time partner and adopted her partner's children, making her a new mom, Kavadeles points out. The new responsibilities of parenthood give her "relatability" beyond simply a spokesperson and actress. "She also represents the concept of the "new modern family,'" Kavadeles says.
Subsequent videos -- there are five in all -- put Lynch, who stars on "Glee" as the witty-but-withering Sue Sylvester, in a classroom-style setting, where she counsels others in the relatively acerbic manner for which she has become famous.
"When your teenage daughter has a teenage love-fever and her teenage boyfriend threatens to dump her unless she sends him a picture of her 'what whats,'" Lynch says, "all she has to do is grab her camera phone and say, 'Cheese.'" As the class participants express reservations about talking to their teens about such an issue, Lynch admits she's a parent too, "but no matter how uncomfortable we are with this, it's too important to sweep under the rug."
The video closes with Lynch talking directly to the camera, encouraging viewers to click on links about how to talk to kids about sexting. The sexting video is already online, and subsequent videos will be rolled out in the coming weeks.
This latest effort is separate from LG's teen-targeted responsible cell phone campaign that came out last year. That effort, called "Give it a Ponder," featured James Lipton offering his beard to kids as a way to think about questionable texting behaviors before they engage in them.
"Ponder helped LG get the Text Ed conversation started, but it was apparent that parents needed education about mobile phone misuse as well," Kavadeles says. "So, we launched the LG Text Ed program in February of this year to specifically speak to parents, providing them with a place where they can go to get answers to the questions they have about sexting, mobile phone harassment, what age should they get a mobile phone for their child, etc."