john st. Launches ‘Kids Read Mean Tweets’ for Canadian Safe School Network

By Erik Oster 

To illustrate the effects of cyberbullying, john st. created “Kids Read Mean Tweets” for Canadian Safe School Network.

The idea riffs on the popular “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” segment on Jimmy Kimmel Live, even employing a similar brick backdrop. At the beginning of the spot, the first couple of tweets are lightly mean-spirited but funny and the kids are able to laugh them off. As the segment progresses, however, the tweets become more and more mean, eventually degenerating into cruel attacks. The pacing and change in tone is executed perfectly, sending the message that cyberbullying is no laughing matter and giving viewers an idea of what its victims feel like.

“We wanted to use the ‘Mean Tweets’ model because in a way, those videos give the message that cyber bullying is ok – even funny,” explained Stu Auty, president of the Canadian Safe School Network, in a statement. “But adult celebrities have the maturity and confidence to overcome these hurtful words. Children don’t. For regular kids, words can cut like a knife. Cyber-bullying is an epidemic that invades their lives and leaves many feeling like there’s no way out.”

The team has launched a crowdfunding effort to pay for media buys, with the goal of placing the spot in the upcoming Stanley Cup playoffs, where it will be seen by millions.


Advertising Agency: John St, Canada
Executive Creative Directors: Stephen Jurisic, Angus Tucker
Creative Director: Niall Kelly
Copywriters: Kohl Forsberg, Jacob Greer
Art Directors: Jenny Luong, Denver Eastman
Agency Producers: Madison Papple, Cas Binnington
Production Company: OPC
Director: Chris Woods
Director of Photography: James Gardner
Executive Producers: Harland Weiss, Donovan Boden, Liz Dussault
Line Producer: Dwight Phipps
Editorial: Saints Editorial
Editor: Mark Paiva
Editorial Executive Producer: Stephanie Hickman
Editorial Producer: Ardith Birchall
VFX, Online & Finishing: The Vanity
Colourist: Andrew Exworth
Flame Artist: Naveen Srivastava
VFX Executive Producer: Stephanie Pennington
Audio Post Facility: Eggplant Collective
Audio Director / Composer: Adam Damelin
Audio Head of Production: Nicola Treadgold