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Department for Children, Schools and Families

Communications research for the Department for Children, Schools and Families – Effectiveness of TV vs other media to deliver social messages to teens


Indigo Research were briefed by the DCSF to determine the effectiveness of Hollyoaks to help deliver their key social messages (covering drugs, teenage pregnancy, bullying etc) via the TV programme and off screen related activity.


Series of friendship pairs amongst 14-19 years.

Friendship pairs built confidence and encouraged open discussion – important given the sensitive and personal nature of the issues covered.

A proportion pre-sensitised to the PR activity with a 6-week diary monitoring Hollyoaks references across all media including press, radio, web, internet, personal appearances etc. Telephone contact maintained to ensure active involvement and participation.

A range of projective tasks i.e. mind maps and creative stimulus boards developed around core communication areas were used and this focused discussion on the key storylines, themes and related social issues. Vox Pop interviews and filming with selected respondents for added impact.


Indigo Research’s findings provided key insights into teens and young adults’ lives and also confirmed the huge impact and success of Hollyoaks in covering the breadth of health, social, moral and educational issues in a compelling, informative and accessible way. Clear action points were also identified to add value for future related PR activity.