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National Citizen Service Busts Myths about Today’s Teens in Campaign from Accenture Song


Campaign shows how young people engage with a wide range of passion points from gaming, to TikTok scrolling, to mental health advocacy

National Citizen Service Busts Myths about Today’s Teens in Campaign from Accenture Song

Accenture Song UK has created ‘Outdated Translated’, a new campaign for NCS (National Citizen Service) to upturn and reframe the often pervasive criticism faced by teens from wider society. The campaign shows how young people engage with a wide range of passion points from gaming, to TikTok scrolling, to mental health advocacy - and that these should be respected, celebrated and nurtured, as they provide teens with the foundational skills and strengths essential as they transition into adult citizens.

NCS helps young people aged 15-17 become world and work-ready by providing a platform for personal development through a wide range of activities and experiences - including local community volunteering, online and some away from home, to build confidence, employability, life skills and mix with others.

Accenture Song’s brief was to drive brand love, interest and sign-ups by showing 15-to-17-year-olds that NCS is a time-worthy programme that aligns with their core passions and provides meaningful experiences to amplify their potential.

The campaign sets out to ‘translate’ outdated opinions about 15-17-year-olds. From TikTok scrolling to endless gaming – society tends to view teens' passion-led pursuits as time-wasting. But the creative, collaborative and resourceful skills they are practising through these channels are actually the skills needed for the 21st century, and skills the NCS programme both nurtures and cultivates. The overarching campaign message highlights that where some see weakness, NCS sees strength.

In the 30-second hero film, ‘Outdated Translated’, directed by Jason Yan Francis, misconceptions about young people are vividly brought to life through three animated characters. Each represents the different channels through which some such views are spread: press, the internet and broadcast media. These misconceptions are then, translated and reclaimed as positives by Gen Z influencers Izzie Rodgers, Kailem Williamson and Lee Hinchcliffe.

‘Media Man’, animated by stop-frame animator and director Victor Haegelin, known by his Instagram handle, @Patagraph, emerges from a tabloid page of newsprint to embody the criticism that can be seen in press.

‘Keyboard Troll’, made from mobile phones and laptops to represent the internet and ‘Screen Face’, a TV-inspired puppet, were designed, built and puppeteered by director Jason Yan Francis and his team at production house Chaos Paris.

With each character, criticisms that teens are weak, anti-social, entitled, or self-obsessed become a celebration of their resilience, confidence, empathy, connection and independence.

One statement – “Young people are so easily offended. They care about everything” – translates into “Young people are so empathetic. We care about everyone,”.  Another, “Gen Z are so weak all they do is talk about mental health' translates into 'Gen Z are so resilient it takes confidence to talk about mental health.”.

The overarching message is that where some see weakness, NCS sees strength.

The hero spot is supported by further translation of some other outdated statements running across a range of other executions, including OOH.

June Carter, head of marketing at NCS Trust – an arms’ length body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), said: “Young people have had fewer opportunities to learn and grow in recent years due to the pandemic. At the same time, they’re very often subject to outdated views that couldn't be further from the truth. This campaign tackles these misconceptions and shows how NCS can help young people embrace their passions and continue to grow their strengths through their online experiences."

Nik Studzinski, chief creative officer at Accenture Song Brand UK, said: “Young people have a keen sense of smell. They can sniff out anything remotely inauthentic or insincere. That’s why we’ve created a campaign with genuine empathy to the outdated way they’re sometimes spoken to and treated, by society. Using influencers that they relate to reinforces this tone and makes sure our audience feels their passions are represented in a positive light.”

‘Outdated Translated’ will run online and on digital TV, digital audio, social and OOH in England, rolling out from February 14 until March 31.

Accenture Song’s previous work for NCS includes Mixtape ‘22 – an audio-visual mix tape featuring new music by young British artists using and sampling the words of UK teenagers.

Mixtape ‘22 provided UK teens with a chance to hear and see themselves reflected in music made by rising young talent on the UK music scene and get a taste of NCS and the valuable life-changing experiences NCS has to offer.


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Accenture Song UK, Thu, 16 Feb 2023 10:48:00 GMT