Since the “When You Can’t Say It, Play It” experience launched on April 13, the campaign has received nearly 100 million impressions with 30,000 songs shared in just the first week.1
“The response has been very positive. Each listen potentially represents a caregiver and their teen having a moment of connection,” Arthur says. “We also saw a powerful response from the media, with news coverage across outlets including Mashable, Ad Age, Adweek, and more. I think that really speaks to how innovative and impactful this experience is.”
When using the tool herself, Arthur was struck by the breadth and complexity that the library of emotions represented. “It’s not just about feeling ‘happy’ or ‘sad’—you can type in complex emotions like ‘disappointed’ or ‘apathetic’ and receive a playlist of songs that speak to that feeling,” Arthur says. ”It really has the power to help open up conversations around a wide range of topics.”
Craig and his mother, Ellen, have been using the tool to send songs back and forth, having recently shared tracks from Selena Gomez and Anthony Ramos.
“I really think that this tool is a great way to bridge the communication between parents and teens when there is a barrier that is often up and where teens feel as though their parents aren’t willing to listen to some of the challenges that they may face,” Ellen says. “Music has a way of speaking while healing, and when you can’t say it, play it.”
Craig and his mother both stress the importance for brands to stand up and lead on important topics like this.
“Amazon and the Ad Council doing this project is amazingly soothing and refreshing,” Craig says. “I feel protected by such a large organization that folks across the globe interact with every second of the day. It sends such a huge message from far and wide that it’s never too late to ask for help when you need it. Nobody has to be in this alone.”
And research shows that consumers want to see brands leading with their values. According to the 2023 Higher Impact report from Amazon Ads and Environics Research, 69% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase an item from a brand that is willing to take a stand on social issues and conflicts.
“We’re proud to continue working with the Ad Council on campaigns that drive meaningful conversations,” said Alan Moss, vice president of global advertising sales at Amazon. “The Ad Council’s initiative to create open, accepting, and proactive discussions around mental health resonates with our goals to do better and be better for our customers, employees, and communities.”
The Ad Council also recognizes the power for brands to facilitate meaningful conversations.
“Widespread societal change takes time and resources, and when you can bring multiple stakeholders together around a singular issue, you can accelerate impact at scale,” Arthur says. “Through Amazon’s reach, technology, creativity, and innovative thinking, we had the opportunity to bring this conversation-starting power of music directly into families’ homes and devices. By working with teams of people who are committed to using their place in the industry to make a difference, we can continue to drive positive social impact and break down the barriers surrounding mental health.”
In this case, it’s important to hit play and listen.