This nonprofit encourages members of Gen Z to stay SNUG — Safer Not Using Guns
A new gun violence prevention campaign is coming to Phoenix in the form of location-based TikTok ads aimed at members of Gen Z. Project Unloaded is a nonprofit organization rolling out targeted ads in Phoenix for its campaign Safer Not Using Guns, or SNUG.
Nina Vinik, the organization’s executive director, said SNUG aims to empower members of Generation Z with facts about gun ownership and safety to make their own choices.
“It’s hard to change our coffee order, let alone our views about a topic like guns,” Vinik said. “But when we’re teenagers those views are still forming.”
Vinik said SNUG targets young people to give them information in a way that lets them make their own choices about gun ownership and hopefully shift the culture around guns. When other organizations, like Truth Initiative, brought culture change campaigns directly to teenagers about the dangers of smoking, she said, the numbers of teenagers who smoke tobacco dropped significantly.
“Smoking went from cool to uncool in a generation,” Vinik said. “And we’re really proving that we can do the same thing when it comes to young people and guns.”
Vinik said SNUG is non-partisan, non-political, and meets teens between 13 and 17 where they are: Online.
“We’re working with TikTok influencers who have large followings among Gen Z,” Vinik said.
As part of the campaign, 13- to 17-year-olds in Phoenix and 11 other cities will see ads for SNUG on TikTok in addition to existing influencer posts. SNUG targets young people to give them information in a way that lets them make their own choices about gun ownership and hopefully shift the culture around guns, according to Vinik.
“Gen Z is on the cusp of culture change across the board. So, if you want to change culture, talk to Gen Z,” she said. “And that’s what we’re doing.”
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