Thursday, September 16, 2021

Forward Together Launches New Youth and Parent Ads


The Forward Together campaign launched in September 2020 and is positively impacting the lives of youth, parents, and trusted adults across Colorado. 

Everything is focused on one goal: to help young people feel more connected - to peers, parents, and other trusted adults. Research shows that youth who are connected are less likely to smoke, drink, vape, use marijuana, and have feelings of depression.

See the New Ads: Stories of Connection
Starting this month, new Forward Together ads roll out statewide! 

The new spots feature stories of real Colorado teens and parents that represent a diverse array of voices. These stories explain how they have built stronger connections.

Ads will reach less-connected audiences through streaming TV (like Hulu), Snapchat, Pandora, and out-of-home placements, like bus shelters and laundromat posters.

The campaign goals for FY22 are to deepen relationships by focusing on how, and using tactical tips and real stories.

Watch the new video ads here — and look for ads in your community this fall as well! 

Get Involved: New Materials for You!
Forward Together fact sheets, brochures, and posters are now available to order or download on Request a log-in and then visit the COHealthResources and click on “Find Your Materials” to access resources for both youth and adults.

Research to Inform Your Work: What Is on the Minds of Youth, Parents, and Caregivers
In early 2021, we conducted interviews across the state to understand how the past year affected relationships between youth and their peers and between youth and parents/adults. These insights became the foundation of the FY22 strategy and creative refresh and may help you in your work. 

Here’s what we learned:

For peer-to-peer relationships between youth…

  • Youth lost friends and acquaintances, but the relationships they held onto grew!

  • For youth who are a minority in their community, or LGBTQ+, at-home learning was a welcomed reprieve from feeling unaccepted at school.

  • For most youth, learning from home was extremely challenging and stressful because many had extra duties, like caring for siblings.

Read the full research report here.

For youth relationships with their parents/caregivers…

  • Relationships with parents actually got a little better, but not necessarily deeper. 

  • Young people felt their parents really recognized what they were going through and tried to calibrate to their needs.

For parent/caregiver relationships with youth…

  • Parents had to learn how to navigate through new challenges that they hadn’t really dealt with before — like becoming their child’s “teacher”, or talking about social justice issues.  

  • For parents with fewer resources, last year’s challenges became insufferable, with issues like food and housing insecurity weighing heavily on them. 

  • But overall, parents really stepped up to try to be there as best they could.

What We Learned About the Campaign Effectiveness

This year our research partner, RTI, conducted research to assess the impact and effectiveness of the Forward Together campaign. Findings include:
  • There is a high level of agreement with our message.
  • The advertising is effective among youth and is well-liked by both audiences. 
  • Audiences said they had connections and relationships, so we want the campaign to evolve to encourage people to improve the quality of those connections 

Read the full report.

If you have questions about the campaign or efforts in your community, please contact