We drew on TikTok and meme culture to create a campaign that bust myths about the right decisions young people are supposed to make post-school.
It can be hard for young people to have confidence in the direction they’ll take when they leave school. Common myths and misconceptions make it seem like there is only one ‘right’ way to go. The Ministry of Education (MoE) asked us to create a campaign that offers a counter narrative and helps young people take control and make decisions with confidence. How could we help young people understand their options, avoid bad advice, and realise deciding what to do after school isn’t all or nothing? And how do we do this without alienating parents, who can be the source of misconceptions but also hold a lot of influence?
We addressed the misinformation head on in 'Myth-Busting Tertiary Education’ — a campaign that gives young people alternatives to the black and white thinking that can fuel their anxiety in this high-stakes phase of life. Instead of the two-minute video initially considered by MoE, we drew on TikTok and meme culture to explore the warped logic of post-school decision making in a quick, focused, direct way.
A series of nine 30-second videos teased at the threads of concepts like ‘you have to go straight into more study when you finish school’, ‘going to uni is the only way to succeed’, and ‘you need to know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life before you make a decision about study’. Key messages were pitched in a humorous way, investigating myths without any focus on how they have come about — making the content perfect for our high school-aged audience without being inaccessible to influencers like parents and careers advisors.
Unfortunately a Covid lockdown affected a planned paid media push, but the videos featured on MoE’s School Leavers Toolkit website and were shared organically on brand and social channels where they inspired conversations between young people and their parents about choices after high school. One parent supporting their daughter through the process at the moment commented “these are great and have been shared immediately!!!”.