Cannes Lions

Maria 's Message


Case Film
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Demo Film






According to UN studies one out of three women claims to have suffered from gender violence, worldwide. Specialists say that one of the main problems is that they are afraid to report it on time. Therefore, Movistar, one of the largest telephone companies in Latin America, decided to develop a campaign in order to create awareness and provide people with a Government telephone line to report gender violence.

The objective was to empower women and to encourage them to contact the Government’s assistance line to report gender violence, get information, or ask for help by a website tool.


María’s message is a WhatsApp voice message (the world’s most popular app for mobile chats). In Argentina people tend to send voice messages rather than chatting.

Therefore, we created a voice message that changes if it is heard aloud or next to your ear.

If it is aloud it sounds in stereo and a complete positive and trivial message is heard.

But when you place the mobile phone next to your ear, it sounds in mono and several phrases of the voice message disappear. The meaning changes and all you hear is a request for help.

The whole idea goes behind a metaphor: when we listen to someone closely we listen to the truth. The same as it happens with gender violence and the self-imposing censorship that victims experience.


In Argentina people tend to send voice messages rather than chatting or phoning. The campaign took advantage of WhatsApp as a viral media itself and the easiness to share voice messages through mobile phones. A new experience within this platform was developed based on a true story for those who use it everyday, worldwide. We decided not to name the brand until it was viral. We counted on influencers and media support to make it happen and to reveal the brand afterwards. Additionally, we created a website where users could ask for the message from a WhatsApp account or even make their own version. This way thousands of women created their voice messages asking for help. The site also connected these women to the Government’s direct assistance line to report gender violence situations. This campaign addressed all women asking them to listen closely.


The campaign was launched within the International Women's Day. We made the WhatsApp voice message viral and invited users to visit the site where they could ask for the voice message and at the same time they could create their own by a strong press and networks campaign.

The proposal was simple and powerful:

We wanted to provide users with the experience of listening to a voice message that seemed to be simple and trivial if heard aloud, but it actually contained a hidden message. By placing the mobile phone next to the ear, the voice message changed and we could listen to what was really happening.

This way the same message could be interpreted differently, depending on how the users choose to experience it.

The voice message was released in Argentina through influencers and foundations which support women rights. Thousands of people listened and shared it in networks while national media raised the news to rapidly achieve international coverage.


We got more than 12,500 requests of María’s voice message in one week.

Calls to the Government’s assistance line for reporting violent situations rose by 22%

Thousands of messages were created.

33% more complaints of violent situations during the campaign period.

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