A New Way to Talk About Teen Birth Control Options

A New Way to Talk About Teen Birth Control Options

With The Playbook, Girls in North Carolina Are Learning to Find It & Love It

What if teaching teens about their long-term birth control options was fun, colorful and most of all accurate? In Gaston County, NC, a growing number of young women are taking control of their birth control choices. With The Playbook, they are encouraged to “find it and love it”.

Playbook from BC/DC Ideas on Vimeo.

As part of a greater initiative to promote pregnancy prevention, The Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC) has created The Playbook, a teen-centric website and branding campaign to bring a creative and approachable attitude to the topic of birth control and the use of long-acting reversible contraceptives.


“IUDs and implants are some of the most effective birth control options available – more than 99% effective – for all women. And for teens it offers a hassle-free, reversible way to prevent pregnancy well throughout their young adult years.” said Sally Swanson, Director of Prevention Programs at the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina. “During these years, teens have plenty to stress about; we feel birth control shouldn’t be one of them.”

APPCNC’s team knew that talking with teens about IUDs and birth control implants would not be easy or fun, so with the help of nonprofit communications agency BC/DC Ideas, they have created smart campaign that appeals to young adults, their parents and medical professionals. This campaign makes broaching the conversation about birth control easier by using fun, pleasing graphics with accurate and smart copy.

The centerpiece of the campaign is a graphic poster comparing the redundancy of the pill to the convenience of an IUD. The posters are currently being displayed in doctor’s offices, community centers and in the local mall’s bathroom stalls.

A small “calling card” style piece bring the IUD into stark reality with a graphic representation of the actual size of the device. This piece removes the fear of the size of this method of birth control.


The campaign extends to brochures and buttons to make a young woman’s hunt for her perfect birth control a little more fun and a lot less stressful.


Swanson adds, “we know there is a need to bridge the communications gap between medical providers and their patients. The Playbook has thrown out the traditional look and language that’s failed to speak to teens or pique their interest and found a new way to present an old message.”

The feedback from youth and medical providers has been overwhelming. “Everyone in the clinic loves the buttons, some of the staff wear them every day,” said a program participant.


In the summer of 2014, the team will launch a Teen Ambassador program to start populating the #finditloveit hashtag with real life, teen-centric successes and mishaps in finding the perfect birth control companion.

The Playbook and Teenplaybook.com, is an online resource and communications campaign designed to reach 18-19 year olds with their pregnancy prevention options. This tool is just one of the strategies of the 5-year Gaston Youth Connected created by APPCNC and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce teen pregnancy rates in Gaston County, North Carolina.

The success of the Gaston Youth Connected program has been phenomenal. When program launched in 2010, the target was to reduce the teen pregnancy rate by 10% in 5 years. In half that time – between 2010 and 2012 – Gaston County’s teen pregnancy rate dropped 28%! Moreover, the historical gap between white and African American teen pregnancies closed, drawing national attention to Gaston County’s success. These tremendous victories are a reflection of the creativity, hard and thoughtful work of Gaston County’s shared commitment to the health, safety and future of its young people.

Click to watch a short video showcasing the Playbook collaterals developed this year.


The Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC) is the state’s only statewide nonprofit dedicated to preventing teen pregnancy. Since 1985, the agency has worked to help communities reduce teen pregnancy through advocacy, collaboration, and education. Learn more at appcnc.org.

About BC/DC Ideas

BC/DC Ideas is an independent, full-service agency that specializes in creating meaningful communications that makes a difference. Working exclusively with nonprofits, we bring our passion for storytelling, design, fundraising and sound strategy to help our clients achieve greater impact. Our team draws on extensive experience in nonprofit and corporate communications, marketing and advertising, and our greatest joy is working with clients who want to change the world. Learn more at bcdcideas.com.

Ready to Discover a better Review Process?

Whether it’s in-person or virtual, Dawn will help your team uncover ways to make your team’s feedback process more efficient. 

Dawn is ready to speak at your next event!

An award-winning expert on nonprofit communications and creativity, Dawn is ready to speak at your next gathering. 

Kate Runy


A passionate technical wizard, Kate thrives on managing online content, social media for communications, and development projects.  Kate is the workhorse of the team, pulling out amazing feats of content creation and management week in and week out. 

Prior to joining BC/DC Ideas, Kate coordinated website and social media content, communications, and advertising for Go Global NC and Alzheimer’s NC.

Things that make her happy: I love animals about as much as I love working for nonprofits.

Mishel Gomez Cespedes


Mishel brings a passion for video storytelling and quippy social media content to the team.  At BC/DC Ideas, she is most likely editing video or scheduling the next moving social media post for our clients.

Her ear for storytelling is her greatest asset. Mishel has a unique ability to assemble content into a concise story that moves audiences to action.

A graduate of Wake Forest University she spent a semester in Spain and years serving her community through the campus organizations. Now, she is putting her passion for good to work.

Brian Crawford

creative director

Mix equal parts nerd and creativity and that’s Brian. A natural problem-solver, Brian’s ability to cut to the core of any problem helps guide our creative team to the correct solution without wasted time or money. It’s the core, this little nugget of truth, that helps our clients take the next step with their audiences.

Brian gets the greatest joy out of helping our clients realize and connect with their story. He is a true believer that everyone and every organization has a compelling story to tell, you just have to listen with an open heart.

Things that make him happy: Hanging out at the park with family, toddler-speak, hitting the focus pull, and good coffee.

Dawn Crawford


The engine behind BC/DC Ideas, Dawn has dedicated her career to good. Dawn brings her considerable experience and expertise to helping elevate the nonprofit sector. Our team’s lead strategist, Dawn is often seen leading our IdeaStorms, penning communications plans, or checking in with clients.

Before launching BC/DC Ideas in 2010, she earned her chops in 10+ years of communications leadership roles for public health, healthcare and youth-focused nonprofits. Working for nonprofits is Dawn’s dream job, and she loves that her 40+ hours a week make the world a better place.

Things that make her happy: A glass of champagne to celebrate big wins, Basecamp, living in the South, seeing the world, and a well-formatted spreadsheet.