Empowering the bystander

Cartoon Network was broadening the scope of its pro-social health and fitness platform to include the subject of bullying prevention. This national issue, critical to young people’s health and wellness, was top-of-mind and deemed important by the current and aspiring audience the network sought to maintain and recruit. No other youth media brand was addressing this topic. CN created a subject-matter expert advisory board and had identified nationally recognized experts as advisors and possible spokespeople. Cartoon Network’s campaign focus was empowering the bystander — the young person who watched bullying happen — to respond effectively to bullying situations. This was a proven tactic in stopping bullying and was endorsed by advisors, supporting research and available tools and resources. CN turned to FullSurge to develop the program name for the bullying prevention campaign.

A call-to-action program name

In addition to being fully briefed by Cartoon Network’s executives, FullSurge conducted both primary and secondary research. Our challenge was to create a brand that would immediately resonate with the program’s diverse target audience: 1) primary: K8-14/boy skew with stronger inclusion of girls than traditional network campaigns, and 2) secondary: regulatory community, parents, in-school/after-school facilitators. Given the goal for the program was to empower the bystander, we recommended creating a program name that would also become “a call to action” immediately motivating for all target audiences. We ideated dozens of title names and those of which “survived” our internal critiques, we then conducted a preliminary trademark prescreening. The Cartoon Network team immediately saw the power and potential of “Stop Bullying: Speak Up” and launched the Public Service Brand across multiple platforms.  

We recommended creating a program name that would also become “a call to action” immediately motivating for all target audiences.

Stop Bullying Speak Up


Over one million mobilized

Launched in 2009, the program has reached millions of viewers, and mobilized more than one million people to take the Stop Bullying: Speak Up Pledge. Starting in 2018, Cartoon Network expanded Stop Bullying: Speak Up with new partners and resources designed to stop bullying before it starts by promoting kindness, caring, and empathy among kids.

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