McCANN BELGRADE / ‘DA SE ZNA’ LGBT+NGO / 2019
It is not easy to be LGBT+ in Serbia. Besides being discriminated and ashamed, LGBT+ people face rejection on almost every step: friends, employers, society. It is particularly hard in Serbia and small environments where cultural barriers are still present when it comes to LGBT+ acceptance, even inside of families.
Tackle one of the toughest moments for LGBT+ population - coming out to parents, as they simply fear the rejection. Influence and sensitize the public towards understanding the position of LGBT people. Use parents as a specific group to voice out the issue of acceptance. Help people realize that family is the one place, LGBT+ people should get unconditional love and support from, once they come out.
As unbelievable as it sounds, Serbs have a deeply rooted custom of disowning kids in newspapers, more precisely in classified ads.
In order to give voice to parents who supported their kids after declaring themselves as LGBT+, confront traditional society and awful practice of disowning kids in classifieds, we hijacked this small yet cruel media format, and used it as a tool to change the conversation.
Da se zna!, NGO fighting for LGBT+ rights, partnered up with all main local and national newspapers and published a series of ‘I will never disown my child’ classifieds, allowing various families to support kids for being honest about who they really are.
We made disowning classifieds lost their purpose, in front of those who used them, by turning them into medium for owning kids, no matter what!
We wanted to start a change and we did it. With the classified ad!
We needed to talk about LGBT+ people coming out to family members and their right to speak freely in society with deeply rooted custom of disowning kids in newspapers.
For the first time we did not address the issue only in the media that support liberal point of view, but we went straight to the source of the problem – local newspapers that speak mainly about local problems.
After the publication of classified ads, public figures as well as other media helped in spreading the campaign of parents' support. They started a conversation in the society about acceptance and turning the awful practice of ‘disowning’ kids in classified ads into a source of inspiration for acceptance.
Da se zna!, NGO fighting for LGBT+ rights, partnered up with all main local and national newspapers and published a series of classified ads, written by parents and families who supported their LGBT+ kids.
The form of the classifieds remained well-known, but the art direction was slightly altered (with rainbow frame) in order to make it stand out in traditional black-white format. During the campaign, more parents contacted Da se zna!, asking to join the campaign and publish their own classifieds.
In addition to classifieds, we created and invited people to online platform, where they could ask for advice anonymously. Both, parents and psychologists have answered.
Timeline: 15 airings in 15 newspapers, published in the period 22.06.-05.07.
With the media budget of 308 euros total, we reached 1. 5 million people in 3 days.
Parents gathered and Serbian ’RAINBOW FAMILIES’ branch was established! As an organisation run by LGBT+ families, they act as a support network for parents and children, empowering LGBT+ families.
’I (Dis)Own’ became the moto of community, the theme of 6th Belgrade pride 2019.
Major public figures and influencers supported the campaign by sharing the first classified ads published in 2 national newspapers, creating over 2. 7 million impressions on digital.
All media portals shared the news about brave parents who supported kids publicly, including BBC in Serbian.
4 major TV stations did reportages on the news and in one of the most popular TV show there was a huge debate on the topic.
Regional news covered the story about the campaign too.