DENVER, July 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- JanSport today announced the second phase of its #LightenTheLoad campaign, created to drive open conversations around Gen Z and mental health. Half of the brand's target consumer, the Gen Z population, feels they adequately manage their stress 1 while three out of 10 say they feel anxious or nervous almost every day2. The campaign demonstrates to Gen Z that JanSport understands a key issue their generation is facing and is here to help #LightenTheLoad.
"#LightenTheLoad has already seen unprecedented engagement between Gen Z and the JanSport brand," says Monica Rigali, Senior Director of Marketing at JanSport. "We're finding 2020 continues to be a year of change, growth and unity which, for JanSport, reiterates the importance of truly listening to the issues that impact young people and working to provide a platform for their voices."
JanSport kicked off the campaign in May with weekly Instagram Live sessions timed to Mental Health Awareness Month, where young people tuned in to take part in open conversations between mental health experts and influencers. These sessions focused on current events that directly impact Gen Z, such as COVID-19 and Pride Month. Experts featured in the inaugural sessions include Nedra Tawwab (@nedratawwab), who tackled topics such as Black LGBTQ+ mental wellness and the intersection of mental health and racial discrimination against the Black community in America.
"As a licensed therapist and social worker, it's crucial that I listen to and advocate for people clinically and in the community," says Tawwab. "JanSport is a brand that uses its platform to support and amplify mental health and Black LGBTQ+ people."
In addition to these topical discussions, JanSport created a curated film series highlighting some of the mental health issues young people face today. The films aim to normalize and destigmatize conversations about mental health by sharing authentic and personal stories told by real people, not actors. Topics include depression and anxiety, family conflict, learning how to talk with others about mental health and coming to terms with identity.
"Our end goal here is hope. By documenting real stories from everyday young people with varying identities, we hope people will see the films and think, 'Oh yeah, I have felt exactly like that'," says Rigali. "Sometimes the bravest thing to do is to come forward about personal struggles, but that simple step can open the door to better health and maybe even save a life."
JanSport worked with Los Angeles-based creative agency Haymaker and Ruby Pseudo to bring the #LightenTheLoad series to life.
For more information and updates on the campaign, please visit jansport.com/lightentheload.
JanSport, a division of VF Outdoor, LLC., was founded in 1967 in Seattle, WA, by three pioneers in the outdoor industry. Though the brand began by manufacturing and marketing world-class outdoor backpacks, today the product offering includes outdoor gear and daypacks sold on www.jansport.com, department stores, and specialty and boutique retail locations throughout the world. All JanSport packs are backed by a lifetime warranty to guarantee they stand by customers through their life's adventures.
1 American Psychology Association, Stress in America TM Generation Z, October 2018
2 PEW Research, A growing number of American teenagers ? particularly girls ? are facing depression, 2019
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