Teens take on patronising adults in National Citizen Service campaign

New spot by Karmarama highlights independence of young adults.

Young adults are often bossed around by adults, patronised and told what they can't do. But they are often more independent than they are given credit for – a fact that the National Citizen Service plays on in its latest brand campaign.

Developed by Karmarama, the one-minute film is centred around the message: "No, we can." It launches in cinemas on Friday before rolling out as part of a multimedia campaign comprising outdoor, social media, digital, radio and PR.

There is also a new, bolder brand identity – something that Karmarama developed alongside teens. 

The ad stars a cast of young people, including NCS graduates who completed the organisation's four-week personal and social development programme. 

Research, the NCS said, shows young people do not feel their opinions are respected. The organisation said the campaign aims to encourage teens to overcome a lifetime of being told what they can't do and turn "No, you can't" into "No, we can". 

The NCS, which is government-funded and was founded by David Cameron in 2011, said the campaign and rebranding cost just under £1m. 

The work was created by Meigan Brown and Tobias Owen, and directed by Finn Keenan through Riff Raff. Media planning will be handled by MediaCom and media planning handled by Omnigov. 

Miriam Jordan Keane, chief marketing officer at the NCS, said: "Young people face a lot of pressures and challenges in their lives today. At NCS, we’re passionate about listening to them, understanding them and creating a space for them to bridge social divides.

"'No, we can’ gives a voice to a generation ready to speak their minds and acts as a rallying cry, encouraging them to overcome boundaries on a micro and macro scale. It is not about promoting rebellion, but about inciting independence at a key transitional age."

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