Cannes Lions

ONE PHOTO A DAY IN THE WORST YEAR OF MY LIFE

SAATCHI & SAATCHI, Belgrade / FOND B92 / 2013

Case Film
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Case Film

Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

Serbia has seen a worrying rise in domestic violence. In 2012 every third woman was the victim of some form of violence. This is one of the most widespread, but hidden problems in society today. Our challenge was to break that silence and put issue into focus.

Strategy was to use the most popular and open channel for viral distribution of shocking video clip that informs the public about the problem and encourages victims to seek help.

Idea: Use YouTube’s popular format in which a person takes one photo every day for a year, but this time with a shocking twist. Photo series starts as usual with a smiling woman. But soon her smile fades, and signs of violence appear. In final frame she holds a sign: “Help me, I do not know if I will survive until tomorrow.”

Video was designed to provoke and in the first stage the uploader remained anonymous. This created global controversy whether she is an actual victim of abuse or a PSA campaign.

In less than a week it hit 3 million views and entered 5 most popular videos on YouTube. Tens of thousands of comments were generated.

All local and hundreds of international media published the news. They exposed alarming statistics in their own countries, thus raising awareness and starting conversations on a global scale. Total number of media impressions exceeded 45 million.

Campaign brought the issue back on national agenda. Two new shelters for women will be opened in Serbia.

Execution

Our idea was to use a popular YouTube 'One photo a day' format in which a person takes a portrait picture of themselves every day for a year and give a realistic portrayal of how relationship violence can transform its victims’ lives.

The video begins with photos of a confident, happy woman, but the photos quickly recede into black eyes, cut lips and welts. In the final frame, the girl — beaten to the point that she can only open one eye — holds up a sign that states, “Help me, I don’t know if I will survive until tomorrow.”

After the guerrilla phase with the “anonymous victim”, we revealed the PSA. An annotation “Click here to help” was inserted 10 days later at the end of the video. It was linked to information about relationship abuse, helplines and donations for shelters.

Outcome

After being posted, “One photo a day in the worst year of my life” immediately went viral. In less than a week video hit 3 million views and entered 5 most popular videos on YouTube. Number of views currently surpasses 4,500,000.

It triggered awareness and prompted strong reactions. Video shares via Facebook exceeded 100,000. Tens of thousands of comments were generated.

Individual cry for help became universal call for action. All local and hundreds of international media published the news and tried to unveil the identity of the mysterious girl.

Number of media impressions in the first week exceeded 45 million. Most importantly, media exposed alarming statistics in their own countries, thus raising awareness and starting conversations on a global scale.

Campaign brought the issue of domestic violence back on the national agenda. Two new shelters for women will be opened in Serbia.

Total campaign expenses amounted to 2,000 EUR.

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