According to The Prince’s Trust research, one in five 11 to 19-year-olds believe they will amount to nothing; one in four think people do not believe in them; and almost half think they will struggle to find employment.
In response, the "Youth can do it" campaign features a TV spot directed by the Oscar-winning film director Andrea Arnold that shines a light on the hardships that young people face and how drive and confidence can improve their sense of self-worth.
The script takes the form of a poem, Bulletproof, written and performed by 16-year-old Maya Sourie – a winner of last year’s national youth poetry competition SLAMbassadors – who is also a former foster child.
The film takes the form of a montage of scenes, from a child protecting a younger sibling from danger, to a young mum looking after her baby, to a young man packing his bags and moving out of a garage and into his first home, and an anxious young man securing his first job. The poem spreads the message that "pain is nothing but fuel to reach my full potential" – speaking for all young people born into difficult circumstances.
It features young people whose lives and circumstances reflected those in the script and the soundtrack is performed by inner-city youth choir Inner Voices and composed specifically for the film by Simon Bass.
Yan Elliott, joint executive creative director at CHI, said: "From the moment Andrea agreed to work with us on this campaign, we knew it would be something special. Rather than preaching, we wanted to show ‘Youth can do it’ in action – using Maya’s incredible poem as the script, and working with a real-life cast and with youth choir Inner Voices on the music. We couldn’t be more proud of the result, and hope it touches the lives of young people everywhere."
The TV ad was created by CHI's Angus Vine, Toby Brewer, and Danny Hunt and produced by Park Pictures. It will be supported by a print and out-of-home campaign, while actor Tom Hardy and magician Dynamo have also lent support to the initiative.
The campaign is the first brand partnership for Arnold, whose 20-year career spans films including the 2004 Academy Award-winner Wasp.
The Prince’s Trust’s research into the confidence of young people was conducted by Censuswide, across a sample of 2,224 young people aged 11 to 19, who took part in an online survey between13 and 29 of July 2017.
Paul Brown, director of marketing & communications at The Prince’s Trust, added: "The survey results we reveal today show just how much work still needs to be done to ensure every young person can achieve their full potential. That’s why our new campaign ‘Youth Can Do It’ aims to speak directly to young people with a message of hope and optimism."