New York, NY — Planned Parenthood Federation of America is thrilled to announce that Roo, our AI-powered sex ed chatbot launched earlier this year, recently won “Best Use of AI” at the Digiday Awards. “Roo High School” — a YouTube video series showing how easy, fun, and helpful it is to use Roo — won three awards at the fourth annual Shorty Social Good Awards in the Education, YouTube, and Influencer & Celebrity categories.
Statement from Ambreen Molitor, Senior Director of the Digital Products Lab at Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
We’re thrilled that Roo has been recognized by both the Shorty Social Good Awards and Digiday Awards. We know that many teens have questions about their health, bodies, sex, and relationships that they’re nervous or embarrassed to ask in person — so they go online to find answers or get information anonymously. With Roo, young people get personalized, fast, and accurate answers to their questions — without shame or judgment. Roo is just one example of how Planned Parenthood is developing innovative ways for all people to access the information and resources they need to make healthy decisions and take control of their sexual and reproductive health, no matter where they are.
Roo is the first chatbot of its kind and Planned Parenthood’s latest digital innovation in sex education. Young people can ask Roo their burning questions about their health, their body, relationships, consent, or getting care at Planned Parenthood, or choose from a list of questions, and get the answers they need within seconds, day or night. Planned Parenthood partnered with the experts at Work & Co to develop the chatbot. Since its launch earlier this year, Roo was named a winner of Fast Company’s 2019 World Changing Ideas Awards and provided accurate, nonjudgmental sexual health information to people through nearly 3.5 million conversations.
Roo High School is a YouTube video series that answer teens’ most common questions, while showing how simple and straightforward it is to use Roo. Roo is the star of the show and able to answer all questions, with bonus tips from Planned Parenthood Association of Utah Education Manager Kwamane Harris. The series features popular YouTubers Eva Gutowski, the Bell Twins, and James Butler, as well as models and Instagram stars La’Shaunae Steward and Aaron Philip, asking some of the most common questions teens have about their bodies, gender identity, sexual orientation, relationships, and how to talk with their parents about sex. The videos were directed by five-time Emmy Award-nominated director Alice Mathias and co-created with ad agency R/GA, and created with input from teens, who appear as part of the cast, to ensure that the questions and content reflect their real-life experiences.
Roo is just one of Planned Parenthood’s set of robust digital tools that are revolutionizing the way people access sexual and reproductive health care and information. As the nation’s largest provider of sex education, Planned Parenthood provides accurate, nonjudgmental information on its Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages, and Planned Parenthood websites in English and Spanish receive more than 100 million visits annually. Planned Parenthood also provides sex education programs and outreach to 1.5 million people in schools and communities across the country every year.
About the Shorty Social Good Awards: The Shorty Social Good Awards recognize excellence in the professional social media community. Winners and honorees are selected by members of the Real Time Academy of Short Form Arts & Sciences, a diverse group of luminaries in the internet, advertising, media, and entertainment industries. While the Shorty Awards have long-honored the best of social media, this competition includes efforts made by organizations to improve sustainability and diversity internally, foster globally-minded business partnerships, and increase employee community and civic engagement.
About the Digiday Awards: The Digiday Awards is the digital industry's annual recognition of the companies, campaigns and creative modernizing media and marketing. Over the years, these awards have honored leading work from brands, agencies, publishers and tech providers such as Edelman, VICE, HP and more.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.