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Bad Press

Client: The Prince's Trust
Brand: The Prince's Trust

The Prince’s Trust is a UK charity dedicated to changing the lives and perceptions of underprivileged young people. This cinema advertisement for the charity is inspired by the provocative fact that the British media’s current demonisation of youth isn’t a new thing, that young people have been the victims of media prejudice for nearly two hundred years. In the advertisement , two young actors perform a monologue consisting of actual newspaper quotes from 1817 to the present day. The advertisement ends with the line that young people have always had bad press and that we shouldn’t write them off.

The idea was conceived through CHI Lab, an internship scheme that invites young individuals from non–advertising backgrounds (comedians, actors, fashion students, etc) to come into the agency and use their particular creative abilities to produce something surprising for any one of the brands we work with.

Karl and Jordan, the young actors who feature in the advertisement, were part of this scheme. They are incredibly motivated young men, talented actors and producers, who spend part of their time writing and performing for a charity theatre group that produces challenging plays about young adults. They perform these plays in communities around the country to young people and representatives from the police force. Naturally, the brand from CHI’s portfolio that resonated most with Karl and Jordan was The Prince’s Trust. Working closely with the creative director and an account team of young graduate trainees, the two used their unique perspective on young people to develop the script for ‘Bad Press.’

Karl and Jordan are therefore not only the actors, but also the creative force behind the commercial. They are not from stage school, or indeed an advertising background, but are young adults who are truly passionate about the cause they are promoting - and have themselves been victim to the issues the advertisement addresses. The authenticity of their performance is underpinned by their personal experience; both actors, when younger, were challenged by stereotyping and had to push themselves hard to escape from the negative choices available to them. Even today, as successful actors, they are frequently exposed to prejudice in their daily lives and careers by security guards, police officers and casting agents.

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