Teenage Affluenza Is Spreading Fast

World Vision Australia has hit the YouTube charts with its viral video on affluence, “Teenage Affluenza Is Spreading Fast”. Erin is a fifteen year old girl living deep in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. She is at risk from teenage affluenza, like five million children and teenagers in her country. She still sleeps in the wooden colonial bed her parents bought her when she was ten. Although meals, travel and education is available to girls like Erin, many are forced to live on less than $40 pocket money each week. Erin’s iPod only holds 1 GB. And so the satirical commentary continues.

Actors in Teenage Affluenza TV ad

Juxtaposed with Erin’s ‘tragic life’ is the reality faced by children and teenagers in Vietnam, Sudan and other countries affected by famine and the long term impact of civil war. The video ends with the message “Do something else. Do something real. Do something.”

The WorldVisionStir YouTube channel encourages viewers to register with www.40hourfamine.com (Australia) www.30hourfamine.org (USA), fund raising projects, or become a world stirrer at www.stir.org.au and receive free monthly StirMails.

Posted at YouTube on June 12, the Teenage Affluenza video has already had 450,000 hits. The video was first made for a promotion kit for the 40 Hour Famine, to be used in Australian schools. The video can be found on the DVD made available to local promoters. World Vision media staff worked with Rohan Zerna Films, Melbourne, who had worked on previous spots for World Vision. The team decided to take the route of irony, providing a spoof feel. The budget wasn’t high. A family friend of the producer starred as the Melbourne teenager. The voiceover was donated by a regular with World Vision promotions. Overseas footage, already held by World Vision Australia, was spliced into the story.

The decision to take the online video onto the internet was a deliberate choice. A MySpace site, (www.myspace.com/stirmyworld) and YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/WorldVisionStir) were registered in the hope that young people themselves would spread the word and interact with the ideas and actions evoked in them through the video. A staff member was allocated to stirring conversation and feeding new content over time onto the net.

Filed under: Commercials, World Vision



  • Jason Littles

    Wait a minute…I just skimmed through this, but is this a pity video and asking sympathy, “her ipod only has 1 gb”

    man i hope not

  • Satire, Jason, has been defined as irony, sarcasm, or caustic wit used to attack or expose folly, vice, or stupidity. Did you watch the video?

  • Mark

    Im not a teenager, so not in target audience, I guess but I loved it. Great comment Duncan. I liked the line about Erin found her sister had died… her hair.

  • alessandro

    the reason why children in the third world are in a uncomfortable situation is not to blame to the children in the first world. cause of all are the adults in both worlds, not ready to share in the first and corrupt in the third one. the video is barking at the wrong tree.
    btw i am 55.

  • Achim

    The video does even not barking/blame the wrong. Its intention is to set the problems of the bored and over-filled children in the rich part our world in the right scale. Our children and teenagers think they have problems they don’t (or needn’t) exist. Surely third-world-children wouldn’t believe it, if they would have been told about the probs of our teens. (me = 43 years)

  • Beth

    I am 15 years old. I have been asked to do the main speech for public speaking from my school this year and i have chosen affluenza as my topic. Your film was really gd and did a gd job of conveying its message.

  • Great resource! Thanks for sharing!

    Keep up the good work,