Elevating Education with Attention for the Ad Council’s Finish Your Diploma Initiative

Campaign Performance


attention vs. video and display




CTR vs. benchmark


"Our top priority is empowering adults across the U.S. to learn about how they can earn their high school equivalency, opening doors to a better future for themselves and their family. Thanks to Onyx, we were able to drive awareness and engagement for our Finish Your Diploma campaign, connecting people to our website where they could find a free adult education center near them.” – DJ Perera, Chief Media Officer, the Ad Council

The Challenge

With more than 29 million American adults lacking a high school diploma, the Ad Council and Dollar General Literacy Foundation (DGLF) sought to raise awareness for free and supportive adult education centers across the country by directing viewers to FinishYourDiploma.org. A high school equivalency can open doors to new opportunities including higher paying careers, a greater sense of self confidence, and motivation for their loved ones to follow in their footsteps.

The Solution

Leveraging Onyx, the Ad Council strategically placed its campaign across highly viewable placements of premium U.S. publishers, spanning across news, sports, and celebrity categories. This approach not only provided contextual relevance but also ensured that the campaign effectively captured attention for the organization and its cause. Measured by Adelaide’s Attention Unit (AU) score, the Onyx environment successfully delivered attention that exceeded the standard benchmark by 31%, underscoring the impact of these placements within reputable publisher environments. While these donated media placements captured attention, custom Onyx experiences from Brand Studio were key to sustaining it. For instance, a custom Onyx design incorporated Pre-Roll Video and an interactive poll, prompting audiences to consider if they were ready to earn their high school equivalency – and drew over 500 positive responses. Overall, the creatives generated substantial engagement, achieving an average CTR that was 123% higher than the benchmark.

Preview on Mobile


A brand impact study was conducted in collaboration with Lucid, using a survey-based methodology. Test respondents comprised exposed and control groups to understand how the campaign resonated with key audiences.

  • Brand awareness:

    Compared to the control group, there was a +8.1% lift in brand awareness from adults belonging to <$20K household incomes. Broken down further, women from <$50K income households had a +5.6% lift in brand awareness against the control group, while mobile users had the biggest lift in brand awareness at +11%.

  • Ad recall:

    The campaign saw a +4.5% lift in ad recall among the exposed groups. Women from less than <$20K household incomes had better ad recall, at +5.6% compared to the control group.

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The collaboration with Onyx for the FinishYourDiploma.org campaign was helpful in reaching and inspiring audiences. The increased brand awareness and ad recall underscore the effectiveness of this strategic partnership in driving attention and engagement for educational empowerment."

DJ Perera

Chief Media Officer, the Ad Council