Essex County Lines - Social Snapchat Advertising

Gone in 6 seconds, engaging at-risk youth.

James BrenchleyVictoria GriggThomas Kelly
Project team James, Vicotria and Tom




With the rise in County Lines gangs operating across Essex, the Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit (VVU) asked for our help to reach as many young people across key areas of Essex, and warn and inform them about County Lines.
We knew it wasn’t going to be possible to reach those who were heavily involved in drug trafficking, we knew that those who were already grooming and exploiting young people, or who had been groomed to take part in criminal activity weren’t about to have their heads turned by an awareness campaign.
But we also were well aware that there is a vital job to be done in warning those on the periphery. Helping their friends see the signs, looking out for early warnings amongst their peers. Simply being informed.

The VVU had commissioned a video that spoke directly to this audience. Using young people from the area, and showing the reality of County Lines, and the effect on them and their friends. The video was a very gritty and impactful asset, and our job was to work out how to get this in front of the right people, and edited to fit each platform it was used on.

The real focus on this campaign was in raising awareness. We wanted to find our audience, and whisper quietly into their ears, so that they a) listened and b) were able to take the message in without fear of being seen or judged for watching the film.

Clicks were important as a measure of success, but nowhere near as vital as spreading the word to as many young people, and their families, as possible.  

Our digital campaign was carefully crafted to build on previous activity, try new formats and deliver those vital impressions, but we blended this with other media to increase reach as much as possible. Targeted audio streaming, working alongside digital channels to reach a youth audience. 

Key to the success of the campaign this time, was taking the full -length hero video from before and making it fit for purpose. Pulling out key messages with animated text, and editing short, impactful sequences for snapchat and Instagram, to draw the audience in. 

Overall Snapchat drove the most traffic to the County Lines landing page (7247 Swipe Ups) at a low cost average of £0.26.  

It also achieved a high number of in-app views (38,520) which includes 1,149 long view plays of at least 75% of the minute-long video.  

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AVG cost per view

Zest weren’t afraid to trial new things and I was completely full of confidence in their judgement and delivery. I am really thrilled with how the campaign performed and that is definitely down to the knowledge within the team at Zest. Thank you!

Katie Canning, Senior Communications Advisor, VVU

Speach Bubble
Impressions 876,240
Views 38,520
£0.04 per view
Page visits 7,247
£0.26 per visit