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Increase in Instagram Page Engagement Rate


Increase in Swipe Rates on Snapchat, more than double the rate from the 2020 media flight


Increase in TikTok Click Through Rate


To approach the issue of mental health awareness and youth suicide prevention, the Ad Council, in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and The Jed Foundation (JED) launched a campaign focused on helping young people start conversations about mental health with their friends. The Seize the Awkward campaign debuted in January 2018 and launched a new round of creative in May 2020, to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Month, with the copy, “There are so many ways you can check in with a friend about their mental health. Whether that’s through a call, text, GIF, or emoji. Reach out! It can make a big difference.” and the hashtag and website,

Building on the success of this campaign, dentsu’s Attention Lab powered by VidMob partnered with the Ad Council to 1) increase performance across social KPIs for the 2021 Seize the Awkward campaign compared to 2020 and 2) gain a better understanding of creative nuances across each platform.


To showcase how Intelligent Creative can dramatically boost ad performance, we took a twofold approach:


Dentsu’s Attention Lab powered by VidMob solution enabled the team to analyze creative effectiveness from historical campaigns and built optimized creative for Snapchat and Instagram prior to the 2021 launch. TikTok creative was previously handled in house, so we were unable to conduct a historical analysis. For the first flight, compatible assets were transferred and launched.


Dentsu’s Attention Lab powered by VidMob solution enabled the team to analyze and optimize creative effectiveness mid-flight to drive overall efficiency and campaign effectiveness for Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat.


  • Creative optimization works - incorporating creative data into the campaign yielded higher performance for Seize the Awkward across all social platforms.
    • Instagram: 21% increase in Page Engagement Rate.
    • Snapchat: Swipe Rates more than doubled from the 2020 media flight with a 120% increase.
    • TikTok: 112% increase in Click Through Rate.
  • Platform first design is essential - creating bespoke content, designed and tweaked for each platform drives the most impact.
  • Great creative drives recall and action - Seize the Awkward as well as specific campaign elements in the messaging had higher recall among teens 16-18 after the 2021 campaign flights. Most importantly, more teens 16-18 took some action based on the Seize the Awkward campaign. 

Learn more about the Ad Council’s Seize the Awkward campaign here: and to learn more about this case study download this white paper

“At the Ad Council, we rely on data and research to inform the creative design and media strategy for all of our campaigns. Through our partnership with dentsu's Attention Lab and VidMob, we used data science to quickly optimize creative and improve ad performance and learned that custom platform-specific content drives the most impact. This groundbreaking technology will continue to make a big impact for our campaigns, where engaging consumers and holding their attention is truly making a difference in people’s lives.”

 - Laurie Keith, VP of Media, Social & Emerging, The Ad Council


Part of dentsu group, dentsu is made up of six leadership brands - Carat, dentsu X, iProspect, Isobar, dentsumcgarrybowen, Merkle and supported by its specialist brands. Dentsu helps clients to win, keep and grow their best customers and achieve meaningful progress for their businesses. With best-in-class services and solutions in media, CXM and creative, Dentsu operates in over 145 markets worldwide with more than 46,000 dedicated specialists.