The Ad Council’s Sound It Out campaign and Amazon have collaborated to launch a new tool to help parents and caregivers initiate conversations about emotional wellbeing with the young people in their life. Connecting with teens can be challenging for parents and caregivers, but music is often a powerful way to help foster deep connections. Amazon Ads Brand Innovation Lab extended the canvas available to brands by collaborating with Amazon Music and Alexa to develop “Sound It Out: When You Can’t Say It, Play It.” The interactive experience is designed to help families break the ice through the power of music.
Offering a first-of-its-kind digital experience in both English and Spanish, the collaboration invites parents and caregivers to visit Amazon.com/SoundItOut and type in an emotion like “happy,” “angry,” or “sad.” The new tool will then leverage the Amazon Music library of over 100 million songs to serve up a list of curated songs that reflect the requested feeling. Once parents discover the song they want to share with their teen, they can then ask Alexa — using their Echo device or speaking to the free Alexa app — to “share this song with [name].” The song will then be sent to their teen, who can listen on any of the family’s Alexa-enabled devices on an eligible music service and can respond by sharing additional songs. (If the parent hasn’t already, they’ll need to enable Alexa Communications on their account via the Alexa app’s Communicate tab for both themselves and their teen.)
“We know parents and caregivers everywhere have experienced hitting the ‘I’m fine’ barrier. Through this interactive feature, we can provide them with the tools — like sharing a beautiful song — to break through and normalize checking in on their teen’s emotional well-being,” said Heidi Arthur, Chief Campaign Development Officer at the Ad Council. “We’re proud to once again work with Amazon with a new goal in mind: to leverage their technologies as a bridge for mental health conversations between parents and teens.”
Amazon and Ad Council worked together for the first time in 2022 to launch “Alexa, what is love?” The partnership updated the voice assistant’s answer to the question using voices of everyday people sharing what love means to them and encouraging people to take meaningful actions to foster inclusivity. The work was recognized by industry award shows including Cannes Lions International Festival for Creativity and The One Show.
“We’re proud to continue working with the Ad Council on campaigns that drive meaningful conversations,” said Alan Moss, Vice President of Global Advertising Sales, Amazon. “The Ad Council’s initiative to create open, accepting, and proactive discussions around mental health resonates with our goals to do better and be better for our customers, employees, and communities. Music has always been a vehicle for connection, and ‘Sound It Out: When You Can’t Say It, Play It’ provides parents and caregivers with another tool to check in with their teens.”
To promote the bilingual digital experience, Amazon Ads Brand Innovation Lab produced Muchas Flores, a slice-of-life film directed by award-winning duo Novemba. The spot drops viewers into the tension and awkwardness of a mother and daughter’s attempt at connection. Through small gestures and body language, the film acknowledges how challenging it can be for parents and caregivers to not only initiate the conversation, but also keep it going. As shown in the film, by sharing songs like Ambar Lucid’s “A Letter to My Younger Self,” parents can connect with their teens through the art of music and open up avenues to deeper connection.
The campaign will be amplified by a collective of influential musicians, which, in addition to Lucid, includes Nico Craig, JJ Hairston, and Carla Morrison. Craig talks about being personally touched by the power of music saying, “As openly transgender, I often feel misunderstood. I’ve been told by people that my mother shouldn’t even love me because of my identity. So I put on certain songs that remind me my mom will always love and embrace me no matter the obstacles I endure and bigotry I face.”
Visit Amazon.com/SoundItOut to begin exploring and sharing songs with your teen. For free resources, conversation guides, and the new interactive digital Conversation Starter Pack visit SoundItOutTogether.org. For more tips and community, join the Sound It Out social channels on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify.