Sending nudes … requires careful thought

Who: Children of the Street, with Will for strategy and creative, Bent Image Lab for animation, and Wirtz Media for media.

What: “Stop the Share,” a new awareness campaign from the Vancouver not-for-profit dedicated to preventing the sexual exploitation and human trafficking of children and youth. This campaign is specifically aimed at teens, and is intended to get them to think of the consequences before sharing nudes.

When & Where: The seven-week campaign launched this week with ads running across teen-focused channels including Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, complemented by out-of-home. All of the creative leads to, a dedicated landing page on the Children of the Street’s website that features resources and support to help teens say no to sharing nudes.

Why: While only 15% of Canadian youth have shared their own nude, the ubiquity of camera phones and texting apps—combined with abundant coverage of the nude-sharing phenomenon by the media—can make it seem like an almost commonplace occurrence. However, according to Children of the Street, 92% of girls who actually sent nudes didn’t want to—instead, they felt pressured, coerced, or manipulated into doing so.

How: The creative uses the ellipsis that appear on a screen whenever someone is replying to a text. According to Will, the ellipsis are intended as a representation of the feelings, fears and reactions of teens as different parts of their personality debate sending/requesting nudes.

“When you see the ellipsis on your phone, you know someone is trying to find the right answer or potentially struggling to find the right answer,” said Will’s executive creative director, Lisa Lebedovich. “It’s the perfect metaphor for teens wrestling with this issue, so we turned the ellipsis into characters that reflected the thoughts, feelings and anxieties of the teens behind it.”

Each of the three spots, “Boobs,” “OMG” and “Delete,” begin with  a text that could prompt either a “send nudes” request or a reaction to said request. It then transitions to three ellipsis characters debating if they should comply, or the implications if they do/don’t.

“Boobs,” for example, begins with a text from a girl saying they’re just getting ready for bed. The ellipses appear as three beanie-wearing teenage boys. “Bro, ask her for nudes,” says one. “Boobs?” says the other. “I don’t know seems pretty sketch,” says the more rational of the three, leading to a debate about the morality of requesting a nude.

“OMG,” shows the internal debate from the girl’s perspective, and both spots end with the factoid that 92% of girls who sent nudes felt pressured into doing so. The third spot, “Delete,” features the emoji characters debating whether they should forward a nude of a girlfriend to another friend. That spot ends with the information that 42% of people who receive nudes re-share them.

And we quote: “To ensure our characters accurately reflected the experience of our audience, we interviewed teens and incorporated their insights and language into the final scripts.” —Lisa Lebedovich, executive creative director, Will

Chris Powell