The Misled was a multi-platform campaign consisting of a hip-hop album and web-based miniseries developed by Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian and Jordan rap artists and creatives involved in research on extremism. The objective was to give a voice to frustrated and disenfranchized youth in the region while demonstrating inconsistencies in jihadist recruitment messaging.
The miniseries featured music from the album, and was launched with a multimedia campaign that included a short documentary. The album and web series launched simultaneously on Soundcloud and Facebook, garnering more than 150,000 listens, and some 1.5 million views. The Misled blended counter-culture with a message of hope and unity. The album and its collective of artists led to the production of the documentary.
An integral element in this campaign was the involvement of the target audience in the production of content. Local hip-hop artists and producers, who understood the issues on the ground, created the content. Extensive message testing was conducted to make sure the campaign would resonate with the people it was trying to reach.
An evaluation of the campaign showed that it had significant impact among its target audience. A vast majority of those that engaged with the content were young men in the geographies of interest. Qualitative assessment also showed that the campaign positively influenced the target audience, particularly in terms of building resilience to extremist recruitment messaging.
The Misled Key Takeaways:
- Messenger: Using messengers who are able to deliver a campaign’s message in an enticing manner that appeals to its audience is vital in generating positive impact. The Misled‘s use of rap artists and creative content producers who were already knowledgeable of the subject matter enabled the campaign to engage its target audience of Arabic-speaking youth in an engaging way.
- Message Testing: The organizers of this campaign did extensive message-testing before publishing the various creative outputs. This phase of the campaign’s development incorporated members of the intended audience, whose feedback was vital in refining the campaign so that it would better resonate with its audience.
- Content: Using a variation of media not only helped disseminate The Misled and its content further than a single platform and medium may have, it also gave it greater opportunity for engagement. Members of the audience will have certain types of content and media that resonates stronger with them than others – the use of multimedia allowed the campaign to accommodate to this.
- Evaluation: The campaign underwent thorough evaluation. This indicated it had significant impact with its audience, demonstrating the efficiency of the campaign’s combination of credible messengers, thorough message testing and multiple forms of media and platforms.