“There are ample indicators that social media can… have a profound risk of harm to the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents,” stated a May advisory from the U.S. Surgeon General.
Also in May, the Surgeon General issued an advisory about America’s “epidemic of loneliness and isolation.”
Now, upstart social media app Wizz claims it can combat teenage loneliness and anxiety, in a YouTube ad campaign launching Sept. 28, in the U.S. and UK. Targeted to Gen Z and Gen Alpha, the campaign features a 30-second video running via in-stream and bumper ads, both skippable and non-skippable. Three to five more spots are planned, which will run through December.
“Our ad concept revolves around the idea that ‘even when you’re alone, you’re with friends,’” says Aymeric Roffé, chief executive officer of Wizz, in a statement. “Many of today’s teens spent as many as two of their most formative years away from friends and peers during COVID lockdown. This took a toll on their social skills and interpersonal experiences. Our goal is to show that they’re not alone – literally or figuratively – by putting a world of friends at their fingertips.”
The spot also taps into teen’s FOMO, with a voiceover that says “Wizz. Chat now or miss out.”
The ad opens with a despondent-looking teenager settling on to her bed, when she receives a notification from a contact on Wizz. Once she opens the app, on-screen graphics show a world of Wizz possibilities -- from meeting new friends, discovering music, trading gaming tips, and sharing bits of her life. As the video nears its end, the girl is happily eating popcorn, as her energy now matches a pink neon sign on her wall that reads “Good Vibes.”
The creative comes from the Biborg agency, which like Wizz is based in Paris.
Wizz, which has had 16 million downloads since mobile game maker Voodoo launched it in 2019, and now has 1.5 million daily users, says the new campaign was inspired by feedback from thousands of users who completed a one-question, in-app survey which asked them to share their best experience and/or reasons for using the app.
“Users shared their feelings of isolation, social anxiety and low confidence,” the brand says, adding that they also cited Wizz’s role “in helping them meet new friends, finding people with common interests, increasing their confidence, dealing with social anxiety or introversion, combating boredom and loneliness, and learning about people in other parts of the world.”