Cannes Lions

LOVE IS ALL WE NEED

PROPEL MANILA, Makati City / LAGABLAB NETWORK / 2019

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Overview

Background

19 years ago, the SOGIE (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression) EQUALITY BILL was filed to stop gender-based discrimination in the Philippines, a country that's predominantly Catholic. 19 years after, the bill remains stagnant in the Philippine Senate. Mainly because of lawmakers who express loud hate for LGBT.

Despite aggressive efforts through the years from LAGABLAB NETWORK, the largest coalition of LGBT organizations in the Philippines, the bill has always been met with hate and has never been discussed in the Senate. Not even once. The goal was to convince Senators to give the bill a chance to be discussed in the Senate.

Idea

Guided by one simple truth: you cannot stop hate with hate, LAGABLAB NETWORK, decided to do their campaign differently this time, not with the usual aggression and antagonism: they started talking to Senators who hate, with words that love. How? By rallying the Filipino people to write a sincere personal love letter to their Senators, a genuine plea to support the Equality Bill. All orchestrated in the most strategic, most relevant time.

On the Philippine President’s State of the Nation Address, the biggest political gathering in the country and as the Senate opened, the Senators were in for a big surprise – their social media accounts were exploding with love in the form of letters on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, an overflow of love from the Filipino people asking for the bill to be put in the Senate agenda.

Strategy

The way to the Senators’ hearts is through the Filipino people whose votes matter most in the upcoming 2019 elections. LAGABLAB NETWORK needed to rally the filipinos to do one thing: ask the Senators to support the Equality Bill.

Social listening and data from past aggressive campaigns told us that antagonistic attacks to Senators created more hate and made Senators even more hostile to a compromise, and similarly did not resonate to and even alienate a huge segment of Filipinos who have the capacity to command attention.

Using the power of love to fight hate as messaging, and using the power of social media where there is easy and direct access to Senators through their official social media accounts, in a country known as the world's biggest social media users, LAGABLAB NETWORK rallied filipinos to talk directly to the senators asking them to support the bill, in synchronized orchestration.

Execution

A day before the State of the Nation Address by the President of the Philippines and before the Senate opens, LAGABLAB NETWORK distributed a supporter kit that educated people about the importance of the bill and how this fight against hate can only be won with love. The kit encouraged Filipinos, the bill influencers who could influence the Senators, to write a sincere love letter to their Senators, asking them to put the bill on the senate agenda and discuss its merits. The orchestration and dissemination of the supporter kit happened on social media and online messaging channels, inspiring thousands upon thousands of Filipinos to create their own personal love letters and send directly to the official social media accounts of the Philippine Senators, in synchronized orchestration.

Outcome

Within 24 hours of the campaign, #LoveIsAllWeNeed trended on social media, got the entire nation talking about the bill; and received enormous support from the country’s top TV stations, major newspapers and magazines, biggest celebrities, sports personalities, journalists, company executives, brands, organizations, universities, and Catholic student councils all over the nation.

Gaining over 6,000 public love letters. Over 50 publication features. Over 300 million impressions. Google search rose tremendously as a sign of people gaining curiosity over what the SOGIE Equality Bill was all about; increasing its Google value score by 376%.

Days after the launch, the SOGIE Equality Bill was suddenly put in the senate agenda. And most importantly, for the first time ever in its 19-year history, the bill was finally discussed in the Senate, getting a lot of love from the Senators.