Youth create online safety campaign

Developed by Microsoft Canada in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Canada, the campaign is the result of a national contest asking young people to create their own PSAs.

It’s done for kids by kids, and facilitated by Microsoft Canada and the Boys and Girls Club of Canada (BGCC), who are hoping a new online safety campaign will reach kids effectively too.

The new campaign, launched today, is part of the Microsoft Canada-sponsored CanTech Digital Arts Contest, which asked BGCC members of Canada to create videos about internet safety. The idea was spurred by a Microsoft Canada/Youthography study done in March 2009 that indicated that 70% of youth believe their online personal information is secure, and that one in four kids experience online bullying.

Over 50 videos were submitted from BGCC members via their clubs. The winning videos in two age categories – under 12 and over 13 – were selected by Microsoft Canada and BGCC members. The Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club of Toronto won the under-12 category, while the Boys and Girls Club of Botwood, NL, secured the win in the over-13 category. Both videos feature the children of the clubs talking about internet safety and how kids can better protect themselves from bullying and protecting their personal information. The winners received Xbox swag for their clubs.

Currently, the videos are being housed online on the microsite and on the BGCC YouTube channel. There are plans to possibly put the PSAs in a more public media, such as broadcast, Gavin Thompson, director of corporate citizenship, Microsoft Canada, says, but for now, they’re focusing on the online environment.

‘What we want to do right now is make sure that the campaign resides where kids are going to be, which we all know is online,’ he explains. ‘So we’re doing our best right now to ensure that is our guiding focus, to keep them all online.’

Pro-bono agency assistance was provided by Toronto’s Wunderman.