The Ontario Gov encourages viral video viewing

Through a contextually relevant ad buy, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities says watching viral videos helps youth and demonstrates their ambition.

To help combat the notion that millennials are wasting their time online, the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and Bensimon Byrne have teamed up for a digital media campaign.

The campaign features eight 15-second pre-roll spots that will be strategically placed by ZenithOptimedia before contextually relevant ads, says Joseph Bonnici, partner and CD at Bensimon Byrne.

As part of a greater campaign to change the perception that millennials are lazy and entitled, the latest execution, which goes live on March 20 and will run for six weeks, will place the pre-roll ads in front of videos that have gone or are on the brink of going viral.

Partially found through algorithmic software and partially through manually identifying hot videos, the spots play off traditionally popular genres, such as cute animals, epic fails, babies, music videos or trailers. Each spot calls out the viewer for watching a video, and then ties that genre back to good skills for the workforce (such as ambition when watching sport videos or compassion for cute baby spots).

“We want to take this notion of young people wasting their time online [and turn it] on its head by saying this is a sign of their amazing ambition,” Bonnici says. “The reality is that every generation thinks the generation before them doesn’t work as hard, weren’t brought up in the same way or don’t have the same work ethic. And that’s completely not true.”

The glut of videos also act as a backup, should (for whatever reason) one of the categories doesn’t start to trend within Ontario.

The spots guide youth to, where millennials can access information about job hunting, entrepreneurial grants or building skills.

The digital push is supported by a TV campaign launched at the tail end of 2013, which humorously highlights the lengths youth are willing to go to to land a job (check them out below).

The entire campaign is geared at Ontarians under the age of 30, from all economic backgrounds (as the skills-training might appeal to people in the trades, while grants may appeal to MBA grads, for example) across both gender, Bonnici says.