Matrix Advertising

… from focus groups to deliverable

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The MATRIX works with young people under 18 in South Tyneside, their families and carers.

Advertising Agency Newcastle based Urban River were asked to partake in focus groups with Matrix’s target audience in order to develop the look and feel of the materials, as well as the overall message.

This helped us to understand the attitude that young people have towards alcohol and drugs, and work with them to create advertising materials which deter others from substance misuse.

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The message

We were approached to develop the advertising message as well as create the design.

This involved us working directly with the target audience and developing their ideas into marketing materials.

A range of materials to communicate Matrix's message

A range of materials to communicate Matrix’s message

The young people wanted to emphasise that peer pressure was not encouraging them to drink alcohol or take drugs and that drinkers or drug takers aren’t seen as cool. After extensive focus groups, the clear message was that drugs and alcohol were not important to the young people.

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The look

The young people came up with the incorporation of the ‘smiley’ characters in the materials.

We then took this idea and ensured that the overall message from the focus groups was clearly presented across all advertising materials.

Through bright colours and the use of illustrations we created a range of attention-grabbing materials.

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The impact

The materials accurately show what the students told Matrix and Urban River in January 2012 and have since been positioned around a number of schools.

The young people appreciated that we were willing to listen to their views in order to prevent others taking drugs and drinking alcohol and Matrix has gained some really positive PR.

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What Matrix said:

Melanie Soutar, Manager of Matrix said “We are really pleased with the work undertaken by Urban River, they really helped us get our messages across to the young people through creativity.

We have had a number of projects with them and have been really happy with the materials produced. We look forward to working with them again in the future.”


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