D'Arcy launches Connexions work

Vignettes of adults ranting about teenagers' inability to listen make up a new £1.5 million campaign to promote the Government's Connexions advice service.

The ad, created by D'Arcy, comes as the Department for Education and Skills seeks to boost awareness of the Connexions service, which offers advice and guidance to 13- to 19-year-olds through a helpline and dedicated centres. The service was launched in 2001. It will roll out nationally by early next year, consolidating the previously fragmented sources of guidance available to young people in the UK.

The film shows a range of adults - parents, teachers, policemen and employers - lecturing on the benefits of listening. A voiceover then asks: "Had enough of listening?" and invites the target to call Connexions with the strapline: "Let's talk about you."

The work breaks as D'Arcy begins its merger with the fellow Publicis Groupe network Leo Burnett, folding its £33 million in COI Communications billings into the combined agency.

The 40-second ad, which breaks in cinemas in the North East and North West on 15 November, will be supported by radio, six-sheet posters and postcards. Media is through MediaVest.

The D'Arcy board account director Daniel Taylor said the media chosen were perfect for the target audience - teenagers, who spend lots of time out with friends and regularly go to the cinema, but rarely watch TV at home.

Taylor added that the ad was a powerful portrayal of the experience of young people. "They often feel that they are constantly being told to listen by the adults around them. The commercial contrasts this with the Connexions experience, in which teenagers are able to talk about the things that concern them," he said.

Taylor added: "This is a difficult target audience to reach effectively, but here we've produced an ad that empathises with them in a relevant and meaningful way."

The ad was written by Jon Lilley and art directed by Andy Bunday. It was directed by Malcolm Venville through Therapy Films.


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