World’s top advertising groups come together to mobilize Gen Z around United Nation’s sustainability goals on YouTube.

From combating climate change, to countering xenophobia and extremism, we’ve all witnessed the power of video to spark a dialogue, inspire action and change minds. It’s true for all of us, but perhaps even more so for a generation of young people that grew up alongside YouTube: Gen Z. In a new study, nearly half of Gen Z said they can’t live without YouTube.1

And Gen Z isn’t just tuned in -- they’re fired up. Gen Z are 50% more likely to care about making an impact on the world with their work than their millennial counterparts did at the same age.2  

That’s why Google is thrilled to join forces with Common Ground and the United Nations for The Common Future Project. The partnership brings together talent from the world’s largest advertising communication groups to use their creativity to mobilize a generation of young people around the global Sustainable Development Goals. These 17 goals represent a common set of interconnected ambitions for a transformed world adopted by the UN in 2015 -- like ending poverty and hunger, improving gender equality and reducing inequalities.

Over a three-day period, teams from Dentsu Aegis Network, Havas, IPG, Omnicom, Publicis and WPP, as well as independant agency Wieden+Kennedy, worked together at the YouTube Space NY to develop big ideas that would tap into the cultural influence and power of video to be a force of social good in the world.

On the final day, the teams had three hours to shoot, produce and edit rough videos in formats that reflect how Gen Z communicates, like YouTube’s new made-for-mobile :06 bumper ads. Each team pitched their campaign ideas to a panel of experts that included UN SDG Advocate Alaa Murabit; Jake Horowitz, Co-founder,; Madonna Badger, Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Badger & Winters; and Golriz Lucina, Head of Creative for SoulPancake.

A virtual, cross-agency team will develop the winning idea further to launch later this year on YouTube. To support and amplify the campaign, we are committing media to run the campaign globally.

Take a look at how it all unfolded:

“The Sustainable Development Agenda is the most ambitious anti-poverty, pro-planet agenda ever adopted by the UN. The Common Future Project recognizes the power of young people as global agents of change. I commend the Common Ground partners for this creative effort to transform the video platforms that young people use into platforms for action for a world of peace and dignity for all” says UN Deputy Secretary General Ms. Amina Mohammed. 

YouTube shapes culture not just because millions of people watch a billion hours of video every day, but because it’s a place where anyone can use their voice to generate positive social change. We’re thrilled to be able to shine a spotlight on the great collaboration of these agencies coming together for the common good.

Torrence Boone, VP, Global Agency Sales and Services

1 Defy Media Acumen Survey, March 2017. 
2 Defy Media Acumen Survey, March 2017.