Accenture Song and NCS shatter teen myths with ‘Outdated Translated’ campaign

‘Outdated Translated’ intends to reframe the often pervasive criticism faced by teens from wider society

By Creative Salon

Accenture Song UK has created ‘Outdated Translated’, a new campaign for NCS (National Citizen Service) to upturn and reframe the often pervasive criticism faced by teens from wider society. The campaign shows how young people engage with a wide range of passion points from gaming, to TikTok scrolling, to mental health advocacy - and that these should be respected, celebrated and nurtured, as they provide teens with the foundational skills and strengths essential as they transition into adult citizens.

NCS helps young people aged 15-17 become world and work-ready by providing a platform for personal development through a wide range of activities and experiences - including local community volunteering, online and some away from home, to build confidence, employability, life skills and mix with others.

Accenture Song’s brief was to drive brand love, interest and sign-ups by showing 15-to-17-year-olds that NCS is a time-worthy programme that aligns with their core passions and provides meaningful experiences to amplify their potential.

The campaign sets out to ‘translate’ outdated opinions about 15-17-year-olds. From TikTok scrolling to endless gaming – society tends to view teens' passion-led pursuits as time-wasting. But the creative, collaborative and resourceful skills they are practising through these channels are actually the skills needed for the 21st century, and skills the NCS programme both nurtures and cultivates. The overarching campaign message highlights that where some see weakness, NCS sees strength.

In the 30-second hero film, ‘Outdated Translated’, directed by Jason Yan Francis, misconceptions about young people are vividly brought to life through three animated characters. Each represents the different channels through which some such views are spread: press, the internet and broadcast media. These misconceptions are then, translated and reclaimed as positives by Gen Z influencers Izzie Rodgers, Kailem Williamson and Lee Hinchcliffe.

‘Media Man’, animated by stop-frame animator and director Victor Haegelin, known by his Instagram handle, @Patagraph, emerges from a tabloid page of newsprint to embody the criticism that can be seen in press.

‘Keyboard Troll’, made from mobile phones and laptops to represent the internet and ‘Screen Face’, a TV-inspired puppet, were designed, built and puppeteered by director Jason Yan Francis and his team at production house Chaos Paris.

With each character, criticisms that teens are weak, anti-social, entitled, or self-obsessed become a celebration of their resilience, confidence, empathy, connection and independence.

One statement – “Young people are so easily offended. They care about everything” – translates into “Young people are so empathetic. We care about everyone,”.  Another, “Gen Z are so weak all they do is talk about mental health' translates into 'Gen Z are so resilient it takes confidence to talk about mental health.”.

The overarching message is that where some see weakness, NCS sees strength. 

The hero spot is supported by further translation of some other outdated statements running across a range of other executions, including OOH.

June Carter, Head of Marketing at NCS Trust – an arms’ length body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), said: “Young people have had fewer opportunities to learn and grow in recent years due to the pandemic. At the same time, they’re very often subject to outdated views that couldn't be further from the truth. This campaign tackles these misconceptions and shows how NCS can help young people embrace their passions and continue to grow their strengths through their online experiences."

Nik Studzinski, Chief Creative Officer at Accenture Song Brand UK, said: “Young people have a keen sense of smell. They can sniff out anything remotely inauthentic or insincere. That’s why we’ve created a campaign with genuine empathy to the outdated way they’re sometimes spoken to and treated, by society. Using influencers that they relate to reinforces this tone and makes sure our audience feels their passions are represented in a positive light.”

‘Outdated Translated’ will run online and on digital TV, digital audio, social and OOH in England, rolling out from February 14 until March 31.

Accenture Song’s previous work for NCS includes Mixtape ‘22 – an audio-visual mix tape featuring new music by young British artists using and sampling the words of UK teenagers.

Mixtape ‘22 provided UK teens with a chance to hear and see themselves reflected in music made by rising young talent on the UK music scene and get a taste of NCS and the valuable life-changing experiences NCS has to offer.


Head of Marketing (Client): June Carter

Chief Creative Officer: Nik Studzinksi

Creative Director: Meigan Brown & Tobias Owen

Creative Team: Ben Cashmore & CarysThomas

Business Lead: Eilidh McGregor

Account Director: Adam Davies

Senior Strategist: Izzi Zacharia

Agency Producer: Carol Oakley

Creative Production Lead: Christina Lambrou

Assistant Producer: Magdalena Kozak

Social & Influencer Director: Laura Greenslade

Social & Influencer Executive: Abibat Adesanya

Strategist: Mithun Sundaresan

Director / Production Co: Jason Yan Francis @ Chaos Paris

Creative Partner: Jon Harvey

Producer: Sam Breen

Production Manager: Gace Matthews

Editor: Ryan Robinson

Business Affairs: Annika Sintim, Anya Williams

Head of Design: Simon Wakeman

Designers: Aisling Callaghan, Joel Brunn

Artworker: Sam Coyle

DOP: Luke C Harper, Charlotte Thizeau

Art Director: Lucy Fewell

Wardorbe Stylist: Aartthie Mahakuperan

Colourist: Jonny Tully @ Cheat

Sound Engineer: Giselle Hall @ 750mph

Producer: Marie Fioriti @ Chaos Paris

DOP: Louis Evennou

Stop Motion Artist: Patagraph

Stop Motion DOP: Jérémy Lesquenner

Production Designer: Alix Lainé

Post Production: Saint-Louis

Motion Designers: Serge Miot, Sébastien Fillinger


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