Cannes Lions

Exit 12: Moved by War

SQUARE, INC., San Francisco / SQUARE / 2019

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The For Every Kind of Dream series helps Square’s brand differentiate on our purpose of economic empowerment. We strengthen the emotional connection that sellers have for Square by sharing our purpose, values and principles to foster trust and brand affinity. Our message: We believe in empowering anyone to succeed on their own terms.


The film’s storyline follows Roman and Exit 12 as they rehearse and prepare for a performance on the USS Intrepid Aircraft Carrier in New York City. We step inside the final week of rehearsals, and explore the backstory of how Exit 12 came to be. We meet Angela, a choreographer and mother of two veterans, and learn about the pain and fear a mother faces while her children are deployed. We watch as Everett, a Vietnam vet, depict his struggle with depression and how he eventually found a path back to himself. The film weaves documentary and dance performance, presenting an intimate view of the veteran experience and the larger impact of service on their families and loved ones.


The goal for this series is to improve brand awareness and affinity for Square and continue to position Square as the champion voice within the small business community. Like previous Dreams films, the heart of this campaign will be the short film. We created a multichannel engagement and distribution plan to showcase our seller’s story in meaningful and impactful way. Our seller is our hero and we shared his story in environments that have reach and scale, but are also positively aligned with his social causes.


Research and development began in March 2018, followed by scouting and pre-production in June 2018. Principal photography occurred over the course of two weeks in September and October 2018. Post production occurred from October 2018 to January 2019. The first private screening was aboard the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier on November 11th (Veterans Day) 2018. The film was publicly released online on January 23, 2019 as a Vimeo Staff Pick Premiere. The film’s public theatrical debut was at the SXSW Film Festival in March 2019.


Exit 12: Moved by War was an official selection in the SXSW Film Festival, where it won the Jury Award for Best Documentary Short.

As a direct result of the launch of the film, upcoming screenings of Exit 12: Moved by War include the Invictus Games - an international multi-sport event created by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex for wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and veterans, and the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, UK. Upcoming performances for Exit 12 Dance Company include Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.

Exit 12: Moved by War received a Vimeo Staff Pick Premiere and has 50 million+ organic views and impressions across owned channels and earned media as of April 2019.

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