“We’re Fed Up”

How do you get disadvantaged tweens and teens living in urban “food deserts” to make healthier choices, and advocate for better food and exercise options in their communities? By empowering them with education, technology and a dedicated social network to spread the word.

WereFedUp was a Ning-based social network linked to co-branded spaces in Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, digg and flickr that was seeded with initial content created by 40 student leaders from economically challenged South LA and Baldwin Park high schools.

Over the course of a school year, I visited them on a weekly basis to educate them about social media initiatives, blogging, researching, linking, tagging, video and photovoice production, and food advertising literacy.

The year’s project culminated with a joint collaboration between the students and agency creatives to develop a “big idea” campaign concept around a unique brand for the social network. WereFedUp.com launched with minimal paid advertising support, yet successfully expanded its membership across the country and the world through largely digital earned media efforts led by the students themselves.

  • Role Copywriter/ACD
  • For Los Angeles County Dept. of Health
  • Type Wild Postings, Social Media, Digital Display, Wearables

Wild postings on streets immediately surrounding South LA and Baldwin Park schools (areas with high density of fast food advertising). Users text for a prompt to visit WereFedUp.com and learn more.

2nd execution, also posted at schools, on giant tear-off pads for kids to take home.

2nd execution, also posted at schools, on giant tear-off pads for kids to take home.

3rd execution. The tear-off pads were a hit with students. All posters were exhausted during campaign flight.

Sample digital banner teaser.

Home page for the WereFedUp.com anti-obesity social network, built on Ning platform template. All branding, creative and messaging was developed together with youth leaders in South LA schools.

Branded social media pages linking to and from WereFedUp.com, to drive eyeballs and membership.

While WereFedUp had its own video hosting, we encouraged students to also use YouTube as a means of driving traffic and membership to the network.

The students were not as familiar with certain platforms like twitter, so in-class training was key.

Youth leaders did photovoice projects at school that were posted to the flickr photostream.

Alternate design concept for WereFedUp.com featured fast food characters getting their own food thrown back in their faces.

The student youth leaders felt the ads were attention grabbing, but looked like vandalism.

LA County Health was also concerned about possible litigation.

Another concept exploration, “DontEatItUp.com”, more targeted to tweens. Youth leaders (especially the girls) loved the characters so much they requested t-shirts. But they felt the URL was too long.

Instead of this tween-targeted approach, the youth leaders opted for a body image-based concept. Much more relevant to high schoolers.

Personifying fast food items as “evil” characters was nothing new, but the bold graphic illustrations gave it some snap.

In-school t-shirt giveaways helped drive curiosity to social network.