Cannes Lions

#MoreThanMean 'Faces' Online Harassment of Women in Sports



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Case Film
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Case Film






Our insight was simple: The power of harassment is lost on a screen. But when spoken aloud to another human being, words take on deeper meaning for both the sender and receiver. So we conceived a video public service announcement (PSA) and social campaign called #MoreThanMean, which forced people to face the heart-stopping impact of cyber bullying.

We asked real men to read real internet comments directly to women sports reporters. Finally, men heard, saw and experienced the shocking online harassment happening to women sportswriters/broadcasters every day. We filmed the awkward, sometimes shattering exchanges so we could show the world tangible proof that most reasonable sports fans would never say these vulgar things to another person – so we shouldn’t type them, either.


We shot and edited our video (plus an accompanying long-form podcast about the topic) over two weeks, and posted both online on April 26. We shared our content to YouTube, Twitter and Facebook (and the podcast on SoundCloud/iTunes) that had less than 500 combined followers at the outset. With no paid support, our idea had to be powerful enough to break through.

Our two female reporters shared the video from their social handles, and we pitched sports, mainstream news, tech, lifestyle, women’s, men’s and trade media. We encouraged all sports media to share the content via social with our hashtag.

The video quickly went viral, and we intensified media relations and social engagement. Our women reporters and campaign creators conducted dozens of interviews and responded to media requests on five continents. In social, we engaged passionate followers and shared feedback in real time from media, celebrities, influencers and others.


#MoreThanMean sparked a global conversation:


6.7 million video views in a week – without paid support

#MoreThanMean trended on Twitter and Facebook

250 million social impressions


Penetrating coverage in hundreds of U.S. media outlets (sports and mainstream)

International coverage on five continents

500 million media impressions in a week, including national TV news, CNN and USA Today homepages, New York Times front page, segments on 8 ESPN national shows (the sports leader in U.S.), Buzzfeed, Upworthy, lifestyle media, tech, trade and more

Prominent women reporters (USA Today’s Christine Brennan, Fox’s Erin Andrews, New York Times’ Juliet Macur, CNN’s Lindsey Thiry, ESPN’s Jemele Hill) shared their own online abuse in stories and broadcasts.

Perhaps most importantly, dozens of men in sports (athletes and media) revealed the campaign opened their eyes to what female colleagues endure, including national figures like Jalen Rose, Bomani Jones, Mike Golic, Mike Greenberg, Josh Elliot.

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