By Grace Ferguson
This week, a team of Boston University students launched a campaign aimed at promoting public health on campus. The campaign is called F*ck It Won’t Cut It.
“We saw a lot of people saying ‘f*ck it’ to the small things, you know?” said Hannah Schweitzer, the project manager and strategist for the campaign. Schweitzer is a rising senior in BU’s advertising program.
“And those small things really do lead towards big consequences, so that’s where we get ‘F*ck It Won’t Cut It,’” Schweitzer said.
The campaign has accounts across social media. One post gives a few tips for talking about COVID-19 prevention with roommates. Another post uses facts to bust the myth that young people don’t have to worry about catching or spreading the virus.
The “F*ck It Won’t Cut It” strategy comes from conversations with a student focus group over the summer. Schweitzer said their group wanted to see strong messages made by and for students.
“So, they were looking for something that they can see on social media and re-share on their stories, so they can tell their friends ‘Hey, I’m taking this seriously, can you take it seriously with me as well?’” Schweitzer said.
But the campaign isn’t stopping at Instagram stories. Students are going to see F*ck It Won’t Cut It posters and swag all across campus.
“We started on social media because, obviously, we’re not on campus yet, but this campaign is going to be everywhere,” said Lindsey Rosenblatt, one of the copywriters for the campaign. “We want to bombard students with our message because this is a very serious matter, and it really relies on the success of this semester.”
A team of eight students, both graduate and undergraduate, are behind the campaign. It’s a collaboration between AdLab and PRLab, BU’s student-run advertising and public relations agencies.
BU is supporting the campaign financially, and the university owns the trademark for the name. But the messaging is completely student-driven, according to BU’s Assistant Vice President for Public Relations, Rachel Lapal.
The students did have to get the campaign’s name approved by the the Dean of Students Office, and a council that includes the provost and president of the university.
“Well, we were very nervous to present this campaign because, obviously, we’re cursing our heads off throughout the presentation, and there’s a lot of sensitive topics that we discuss,” Rosenblatt said. “But this was also asked of us. They wanted us to cover partying, sex, and drinking because these are kind of taboo subjects that Boston University wouldn’t cover from an administrative approach.”
After the presentation was over, Rosenblatt said there was a long pause.
“I was thinking to myself, like ‘Oh, this is it,’ like, we’re not going to be able to do this,” Rosenblatt said.
But, to her surprise, the administration loved the proposal.
“With these presentations, BU really trusted us,” Schweitzer said. “We were saying things like, ‘You know what, this is language we’re hearing. This is what we’re seeing. Here are the topics that we see Back2BU might not [be] covering that we think our campaign should cover.’ And the higher-ups at BU were like ‘You’re right, because we want this to go well for our students, and what better way to know that than to listen to our students.’”
Schweitzer hopes the campaign’s name doesn’t get in the way of its mission.
“If someone doesn’t agree with our language, that’s OK, we understand. But the deeper message is that it’s the small things,” Schweitzer said. “It’s being mindful every day, and thinking about others, and not brushing this away in a nonchalant attitude about COVID-19.”