all< >Visit Site

Empowering Youth to
Find Their Verb

Download Resources
"VERB™ It’s what you do." was a national, multicultural, social marketing campaign coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While at Saatchi & Saatchi, GALEWiLL founder Bob McKinnon was one of the primary architects of this campaign that ran from 2002-2006.

VERB was a national campaign created “for kids, by kids” to improve physical activity among American tweens. It was designed not to point fingers at negative behavior like watching too much television but rather empower kids to become more physically active by inspiring them to “find their VERB.”

VERB was a labor of love for all involved. Started by the CDC, it involved six agencies representing different disciplines and minority groups. Mutually beneficial partnerships were at the center of our campaign, involving media companies such as Disney, Time Warner and Viacom, community-based organizations such as the YMCA and Boys and Girls Clubs, and numerous other groups and celebrities, totaling over 400.

Not only did the campaign generate unprecedented awareness levels and positive brand attributes, but also more importantly it affected behavior in a meaningful way for those kids at highest risk. In the first year of the campaign, activity levels increased by 34% for kids aged 9-10, 27% among tween girls, and 25% among children from lower income households.

By the third year of the campaign, we demonstrated a direct correlation between exposure to VERB messages and increased rates of physical activity among all tweens nationally.

Credit: Saatchi & Saatchi