Cannes Lions

Beat the Bullying

LOLA MULLENLOWE, Madrid / ABINBEV / 2021

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Overview

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Overview

Background

55% of young people believe that bullying is something normal, a ritual. And 92% of teens know that bullying is wrong and should not happen, but only 3 out of 10 know how to report or are willing to report.

Colombia is the #4 country with most cases of cyberbullying in the world. Pony Malta, one of the leading beverages among teens in Colombia, launched an iniciative that will speak to them, and moreover: with them.

Idea

We launched an initiative to help victims of bullying. And to answer all attacks, we approached those who are best known for defending themselves through words: freestyle rappers.

Through freestyle—a trend that has gained widespread attention among young people in Colombia—we were able to speak up about cyberbullying. In our initiative called ‘Beat The Bullying’, we united some of the most famous artists in the genre: Marithea, Yartzi and Valles-T, to respond to real hateful messages in real time.

This resulted in a song in which the rappers responded to real cyberbullying comments sent to us by victims of cyberbullying across our social media channels during the live stream.

Strategy

92% of teens know that bullying is wrong and should not happen, but no one raise their voice. We needed to encourage kids and tell them this behaviour shouldn’t be tolerated by anyone.

We knew the carriers of this important message had to be persons young people would really listen to. So, getting the biggest names in the music business, like Marithea, Yartzi and Valles-T, was the most organic way to make one of the biggest threats to the Colombian youth visible.

Moreover, the session used hip-hop, one of the most popular music genres in Colombia, so our message would spread like a catchy music track.

Execution

Featuring the top freestylers in Latin America, we launched and recorded the first freestyle battle against cyberbullying. The result, Pony Malta’s first single: ‘Beat the Bullying’.

But instead of fighting against each other, the freestylers teamed up to respond to real hate messages people received on a daily basis.

The song was not just a collaboration between artist, but also with the help of the audience. Real victims were able to share the messages they receive every day with us live across social media, which became part of the lyrics.

Furthermore, using all the lyrics from the live stream, we launched ‘Beat the Bullying’s first single. The song is available in Spotify and YouTube, and with its own music video, it surpassed the 900 thousand views in just the first week.

Outcome

In the first hour, 1.17 million viewers from 10 different countries joined, 35% of teenagers in Colombia, reaching a total of 2.8 million viewers and reaching 34 million people. ‘Beat the Bullying’ became a certified successful case for Twitch and Twitter, with over 80.4 million impressions. And the #1 most watched branded stream in Colombia. Ever.

In the middle of the campaign, we received the support of the Colombian government in a press release. Many artists joined with their songs to create our first album against cyberbullying, set to release on Spotify in the upcoming months.

Beat the Bullying’s first single was released on Spotify and YouTube and it climbed into the top 10 most popular songs of the artists full repertoire. (#5 for Yartzi and #1 most popular song for Marithea). After one the first weeks of its release, the official music video reached the 2 million views.

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