The National 4-H Council is hoping to mobilize 10 million young people, as well as their parents, 4-H alumni, influencers and corporate partners, to ensure all kids have equal access to educational opportunities and resources.
“From battling issues of rural broadband access to food insecurity to helping their peers cope with mental-health struggles, today’s teens have the answers to tomorrow’s problems,” says Artis Stevens, Chief Marketing Officer, National 4-H Council.
The multifaceted initiative kicks off with a digital campaign developed with Public Agency and includes a series of digital ads and an animated PSA narrated by musician Jennifer Nettles, a 4-H alumna and national spokesperson. The PSA uses simple illustrations to encourage parents and adults to support 4-H as it seeks to develop solutions to ensure “Opportunity4All.”
“While the creation of this campaign was not inspired by COVID-19, the many challenges that kids face due to the opportunity gap, like broadband access, food insecurity and maintaining positive physical and mental well-being, have only been exasperated by the pandemic,” says Stevens. “COVID-19 put a spotlight on the urgency for action now. The long-term impact of COVID-19 on educational, economic and career goals of the next generation will certainly contribute in shaping the solutions that this campaign, and 4-H at large, aims to create with young people.”
Ads will run across Comcast/NBCUniversal broadcast and digital platforms, Meredith publications online and in print, as well as in outdoor advertising placements through OAAA, and across 4-H’s spectrum of media channels of corporate partners.
Like most companies and organizations, 4-H has had to adjust to a new pandemic environment in which its audiences’ attitudes, behaviors and patterns abruptly changed. So did how they consumed information, says Means. “We were surprised how fast and efficient digital as a tool and medium could be used to build new innovative ways to fill gaps in services and communications.”
He explains the 4-H team responded to these challenges through digital solutions, including the 4-H at Home virtual learning platform to stay connected with celebrity supporters and influencers through virtual engagements. These chats provide a sense of community and connection to our supporters, he says.
Stevens admits it is difficult to create a national call-to-action when broader events are constantly changing.
“Because our campaign aims to tackle a longstanding challenge in our country, we knew engaging in a long-term and sustained endeavor with milestones would be challenging while so much of the national conversation centers around immediate action and changes,” he explains. “We were building this proactive national campaign, while supporting on-the-ground realities of our local affiliates, which need to pivot and respond to their communities. We needed to ensure their readiness for broader messaging and communications.”
The organization will continue to host convenings, including a teen town hall and youth summits this fall. It will also build alliances and partnerships with corporate and nonprofit partners that bring thought leaders together with young people.
For more information about Opportunity4All visit www.4-h.org/Opportunity4All.