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Kleenex Explores the Sadness and Anxiety of Moving From Elementary to Middle School


Kleenex's "Someone Needs One" campaign is back with an emotional back-to-school video designed to make you need some Kleenex.

Heading back to school is always an emotional time for kids, but the stakes are higher when you're transitioning to a new school—so Kleenex targeted the switch from elementary to middle, which may well be the worst transition of them all.

That's right, toss a bunch of pubescent children into a new school at the very moment when the opinion of their peers starts to mean the most to them, and you'll get exactly what the Kleenex survey results found—that 91 percent of students worry about getting to class on time, not knowing where they're going, and getting bad grades; 69 percent worry about not fitting in; and 67 percent worry about being judged by others.

Oh, the feels!

To solve this problem, Kleenex teamed up with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence (who knew that was a thing?) to sponsor an emotional workshop where kids talked about their feelings and made other people Kleenex "care packets"—which appear to be very small packs of Kleenex that you can write on.

After the workshop, 64 percent of students reported feeling more confident, 59 percent less alone and 57 percent less worried. Not bad for a half day of taking Sharpies to Kleenex packaging.

Listening to the kids realize they're not alone, and having them take the empowering step of connecting with someone in their support system by delivering a care package, is a powerful reminder of how simply acknowledging that it's OK to feel a certain way can go a long way toward alleviating that feeling.

"It was as simple as using Kleenex facial tissues to open a dialogue about the students' concerns and discuss ways to face them and support their classmates at the workshop," says Lori Nathanson of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

It was so simple that us parents can handle this at home. Kleenex even made a nice graphic to explain how (see below). It marks an important shift in the campaign from "Here's a thing that'll make you bawl" to "Here's something that probably affects you, or someone you know, and you can actually do something about it."

Beyond the emotional nature of the film, and the good timing, it's the empowering simplicity that's made it another hit for Kleenex. 

Client: Kleenex
Creative Agencies: J. Walter Thompson (lead), Facebook Creative Shop
Media Agency: Mindshare
Retail Agency: Geometry Global
Digital/Social Agency: VML
PR Agency: Ketchum

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