Cannes Lions

Let Her Run

AFRICA DDB, Sao Paulo / SPORTV / 2021

Case Film
Supporting Content
Case Film

Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

Since May 2019, World Athletics had set new limits of testosterone levels in female athletes.

A hormone naturally produced by both men and women.

They decreased the limits from 10 nmol/L to 5 nmol/L.

The Officials had decided that many women are no longer qualify as female athletes. And those girls should be on medication to compete.

They say those athletes are not women enough.

And this is not the first time:

Part of the World Athletics mindset is to corner

female athletes into proving whether they are women.

Sex Testing has had many faces since the 30s. It keeps causing psychological damages to girls that just want to run.

SporTV, the largest sports channel in Brazil is constantly fighting for equality in sports.

As the sports press was covering the trial of Caster Semenya, the momentum was perfect to make a statement: It's enough to hear "not woman enough".

Idea

To shed a light on this discrimination, we created a campaign called #LetHerRun, spearheaded by a film based upon the dramatic real-life sex testing in the 60s, called "nude parades".

Strategy

An integrated campaign followed to reach every touchpoint

and generated PR to raise awareness about the issue.

From Social Media to Out of Home, we distributed our content at every touchpoint that could influence the World Athletics Board Members and Track & Field fans from every corner of the world.

For instance, at nearby World Athletics headquarters in Monaco, Billboards were placed. And also, at the track & field training facilities all around the world. From Kenya to Oregon were placed the billboards. Nowadays and former athletes shared the film and people who truly can make a difference: from journalists to lawyers embraced the campaign and helped to push World Athletics on reviewing their approach on Gender Equality.

Execution

The two times Olympic Champion, Caster Semenya, lost her appeal to compete in Tokyo on September 8th. The next day, we released an open letter along with the short film "Sex Testing". OOH, billboards and social media efforts amplified the voice. A Coalition formed by former Athletes, Scientists, and Doctors started to talk about the media. As Rio 2016 was the last stage that saw the three podium medalists of 800m shine. The same athletes: Caster Semenya from South Africa (Gold), Francine Niyonsaba from Burundi (Silver), and Margaret Wambui from Kenya (Bronze) were now banned to compete. To run. To work. To do what they love. So, we invited Jackie Silva, the first woman from Brazil to win an Olympic Gold Medal to lead the campaign. Anyone could make the difference at letherrun.tokyo by tweeting the president of World Athletics.

Outcome

From the USA to Australia, from South Africa to Uzbekistan, the whole planet started to talk about it. 317.432 tweets were sent to Mr. Coe flooding his inbox. Semenya's lawyer is using the movement and the whole coalition that we've assembled as part of his appeal at the human rights court.

In the aftermath: "World Athletics was accused over 'abusive sex testing' of an athlete" (The Guardian)

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