Campaign for 5 Gum Encourages Kids to Head Off Life Regrets

Ad quizzes seniors about times they should have said 'yes'

The campaign asks senior citizens about the times they didn’t take a leap. 5 Gum
Headshot of Alissa Fleck

PSAs aimed at kids usually advise them to “just say no,” but a new campaign from 5 Gum is turning that message on its head by suggesting perhaps they should “say yes” instead.

The “No Regrets” campaign from 5 Gum and agency Energy BBDO asks senior citizens about times they didn’t take a leap they now wish they had, and it distills those experiences into a lesson for young people. (Ninety-seven percent of teens and seniors have at least one regret that has shaped their lives, according to a study by 5 Gum.)

“No Regrets” follows on the heels of past campaigns aimed at pushing kids out of their comfort zones—like the “Truth or Dare” campaign—and encouraging them to live their most authentic lives.

“The message of this campaign is consistent with what 5 Gum has always communicated—that life is better outside your comfort zone,” said brand manager Ashley Findlay. “Regret is a powerful feeling that can motivate people of all ages and experiences.”

Through its partnership with BBDO, 5 Gum identified a diverse group of senior citizens for the campaign to share their stories. In the spots, senior citizens from the U.S., U.K., Spain and China share times they said “no” when they should have said “yes.” The campaign is digital-only, with further initiatives planned for the summer.

“These stories are lovely and interesting and inspiring to younger generations,” Findlay said.

The company has considered the possibility that impressionable youth might get the wrong message from a campaign all about saying “yes.”

“We would never encourage anyone to do anything they’re not comfortable with,” Findlay said. “Everyone has different experiences with regret—the message is step outside your own comfort zone.”

Andrés Ordóñez, chief creative officer at Energy BBDO, said the campaign “is about the moment you decide whether to step into something or not.”

“We’re inviting them to go for it and live life to the fullest,” he said.

@AlissaFleck Alissa Fleck is a New York City-based reporter, podcast producer and contributor to Adweek.