Tackling Teen Abuse through a popular TV soap opera

Mediacom, UK

Myths around rape and abusive relationships propagate through popular culture – so the only way to tackle them is in the same place. Mediacom UK partnered with a popular teenage soap opera to engage young people on this difficult issue. We created a 6 month abuse storyline on 'Hollyoaks', using the characters in spin-off ads and social media.

We knew that Channel 4's popular and award-winning Hollyoaks (The UK’s number 1 TV Soap aimed at teens) was developing a long-running storyline about an abusive relationship.

We took the stars of the Hollyoaks abuse storyline, and used them to tell a multimedia story about abusive relationships to a teen audience.

We worked with Channel 4 and Hollyoaks producers Lime Pictures to create two bespoke ads with Maxine and Patrick in extra scenes of abuse.

Radio ads featuring the Hollyoaks characters and cast interviews helped extend the campaign, running on youth network Kiss.

To further highlight how abusive relationships evolve over time, we created a bespoke timeline tab on the Hollyoaks Facebook page, using video clips to explore moments in the storyline, and reach nearly 2 million fans.

To turn the campaign into an anti-abuse movement, we also partnered with MTV to get teen popstars including Jason DeRulo, Example and the Wanted to bust myths about abusive relationships and encourage teens to #callitout when they see the signs.

The campaign delivered ‘money-can’t-buy’ coverage in every major UK news outlet.

Website: This is Abuse http://thisisabuse.direct.gov.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23callitout&src=typd #callitout

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