Crushed But Okay

  • 2022

  • Communication

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Designed In:


A social-first campaign featuring young Aussie influencers reacting to real stories of online interactions between young men and women. The series takes a strengths-based approach to help teen boys build healthy relationships online by giving them the tools to safely, ethically process emotions—like rejection—in their own language.

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  • Many factors—nature, nurture, societal—influence the way young men experience, understand and respond to interactions with young women. There’s a cultural phenomena of young men handling ambiguity and rejection poorly. This can cause harm to young people in the form of online abuse and unsolicited behaviours. Our challenge was to decrease the likelihood of technology-facilitated harms of a sexualised nature by helping young men manage their responses to cultural pressures around interacting with young women. We wanted to build awareness of the issue, reframe failure, build empathy and grow skills to positively express intimacy in an engaging format for young men.

  • We used HCD practices to develop everything for Crushed But Okay. Collaborating with 15-20 year old men and women, we devised the campaign and video series through consecutive co-design workshops and consultative sessions. Together we highlighted the key concerns and knowledge gaps for young men, then concepted solutions. Next we iterated and affinity mapped ideas, multiplying until we had almost 100! After shortlisting and voting, the influencer video series was selected as winning idea. The participants became our consultants, guiding and informing every aspect of ‘Crushed But Okay’ from the branding to selecting influencers to react to real, relatable stories.

  • Launched in April 2022, two societal impacts from the project are clear: - Throughout our co-design and consultation sessions we consistently heard young men say “I wish we had something like this sooner” both in relation to the messages in the videos as well as the safe space to talk about the same issues. - Authenticity is fundamental to the project’s success with young men. Because all aspects of the project were guided by young people the outcome achieves this authenticity—speaking genuinely about issues impacting young people in their language, their style and in a format that was native to them.

  • Crushed But Okay forms part of Improve Your Play — a project delivered by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation (AMF), in collaboration with Swinburne University of Technology, and funded by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner. Improve Your Play is the first project of its kind in Australia to collaborate with young people throughout the project to co-design resources and interventions to educate young 15-17 year old men “about consent and harmful sexualised behaviours online and equip them with skills to communicate respectfully”( Crushed But Okay is a unique project for AMF creating resources with and for young people rather than educators. The brand and visual identity was selected by young creative advisors as being the most effective to grab the attention and resonate with young men The entire campaign takes a social-first approach to meet young men where they already are—Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat. All videos and social media content were designed 9:16 and 1:1 for Instagram Stories, Instagram posts and TikTok. Four micro-influencers were sourced and selected by youth advisors to increase authenticity and virability of the video concepts.