Youth Ambassadors Film, Design & Branding Welcome To My Neighborhood [video] by VML Kansas City

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Welcome To My Neighborhood [video]

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Industry Public awareness
Media Film, Design & Branding
Market United States
Agency VML Kansas City
Chief Creative Officer Debbi Vandeven
Executive Creative Director Aaron Evanson
Art Director Matt McNary
Copywriter Nate Bowers
Released October 2016

Awards

Cannes Lions 2017
Design Communication Design: Promotional Item Design Gold Lion
Design Design Craft: Illustration: Other Communication Design Silver Lion
Print And Publishing Original Publishing: Content: Books Silver Lion
Print And Publishing Print & Publishing Craft: Illustration Bronze Lion

Credits & Description

Title: Welcome To My Neighborhood
Agency: Vml
Brand: Youth Ambassadors
Country: USA
Entrant Company: Vml, Kansas City
Advertising Agency: Vml, Kansas City
Production Company: Realfake, Kansas City / Rw
Kansas City
Additional Company: Mediahead Printing Co., Kansas City
Global Chief Creative Officer: Debbi Vandeven (Vml)
North American Chief Creative Officer: John Godsey (Vml)
Executive Creative Director: Aaron Evanson (Vml)
Executive Director, Client Engagement: Jennifer Mcdonald (Vml)
Supervisor, Client Engagement: Laura Picicci (Vml)
Art Director: Matt Mcnary (Vml)
Copywriter: Nate Bowers (Vml)
Channel Director, Public Relations: Bill Patterson (Vml)
Channel Supervisor, Social Media: Laura Brand (Vml)
Print Production Manager: Freddie Wise (Vml)
Illustrator: Davey Gant (Freelancer)
Founder: Judy Rush (Realfake)
Digital Lead: Natalie Bluhm (Realfake)
Co-Founder: Lyndon Wade (Rw2 Productions)
Director Of Visual Effects: Eric Bacus (Rw2 Productions)
Co-Founder / Executive Director: Paige Oconnor (Youth Ambassadors)
Co-Founder / President: Tiffany Poor Lynch (Youth Ambassadors)
Co-Founder: Lyndsey Wade (Rw2 Productions)
Outcome:
With zero media dollars, “Welcome to My Neighborhood” garnered more than 50 million earned impressions from 30 different media outlets.The coverage caught the attention of large corporations such as Cerner, UnitedHealthcare and Children’s Mercy Hospital. These companies are now eager to help Youth Ambassadors fund its program.Many other community-minded organizations have also used the book to make the issues facing inner-city youth more relatable to those who can help with real change:1.Health Federation’s Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities2.The Director of Government Relations for the School District3.Executive Director of Student Intervention for the Kansas City School District 4.Jackson County Youth Detention Center 5.Plaza Academy (an alternative school for teenagers)6.Violence-Free Kansas City Committee
Strategy:
To grab the attention of groups (policymakers, funders and the media) that can help better the lives of neglected inner-city youth, we had to create something every person could relate to or empathize with. By using a children’s book (something we all grew up with) to tell real-life yet horrific tales, we made that connection. The book itself is designed with the same size, illustration style and design elements of a children’s storybook. At first glance, you think it is a storybook from your childhood, but that quickly changes once you open it.
Execution:
“Welcome to My Neighborhood” is designed with the same size, illustration style and design elements of a children’s storybook. At first glance, you think it is a storybook from your childhood, but that quickly changes once you open it. We worked with our illustrator to develop each of the book’s characters. Many characters came directly from research photos of inner-city homes, families, crime scenes and crackheads. Once we had our characters, we could start telling the story. The book consisted of three illustrated bedtime stories, each telling a different child’s story — one of drug abuse, one of violence and one of hunger. Each horrific yet true story came to life using the child’s own words, but was put into a format everyone could relate to. It was a book written by children, yet not suitable for children.
Synopsis:
Inner-city youth live in underprivileged urban neighborhoods, where they face poverty, murder and drug abuse as part of their everyday lives. The issues are clear — but most Americans ignore them because they can't relate. Youth Ambassadors has established educational and creative programming that addresses these social and academic challenges to help with youth development. With zero media budget, our goal was to generate awareness for the Youth Ambassadors organization and the issues facing inner-city youth today. What started as a simple book from everyone’s childhood became a rallying cry for change. It has garnered more than 50 million earned impressions, has been used as a fundraiser, and has become literature many other community-minded organizations use to help change policy and views surrounding the issues inner-city youth face every day.
Campaign Description:
Many Americans live privileged lives. They can’t relate to the horrors inner-city youth endure daily. To help America empathize, we used inner-city children’s real-life experiences of drug abuse, violence and hunger to create a children’s book from everyone’s childhood. The book, “Welcome to My Neighborhood,” consisted of three illustrated bedtime stories, each telling a different child’s story — one of drug abuse, one of violence and one of hunger. Each horrific yet true story came to life using the child’s own words, but was put into a format everyone could relate to. It was a book written by children, yet not suitable for children. We distributed the book to key policymakers, funders and media outlets asking them to donate their time, money and power to help put an end to stories like these.