Cannes Lions



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Case Film
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Out of a population of 7.5bn, it is estimated that between 300m and 700m people identify as LGBT+. Yet homosexuality is still illegal in 73 countries.

It’s punishable by death in 14.

Mainstream gay media is in fact, bias towards affluent gay men over other LGBT+ groups. But there is currently no news outlet that publishes news for the entire LGBT+ community. Especially for those living in countries where homosexuality is illegal or nations where gay propaganda law encourages homophobia.

In this case, no news is very bad news…


This campaign righted a long-standing wrong, gave voice and representation to a global community of LGBT+ people and set the bar for reporting on the topic for the most pre-eminent media outlets in the world.

The challenge was to create a new brand identity for the platform and a launch campaign that exemplified the global nature of the service in an entirely open way.

In the accompanying support material, you’ll be able to review the full brand suite we created. It uses powerful, bold and captivating imagery, coupled with integrated brand elements to empower and highlight the platform’s key messages and stories.


Our extensive international research showed that the media channels which exist currently are largely print based, and focus on a predominantly male, gay audience which further marginalises the wider LGBT+ community and hence don’t truly tackle the problem.

We knew that until a credible, trustworthy and truly global news outlet existed with an overt remit of covering the gamut of LGBT+ news, the issue would remain niche, under-represented and millions of people around the world would go unheard. Put simply, it was time for the Thomson Reuters Foundation to right this wrong.

Together, we launched a news and information platform powered by the journalism of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, with the aim of becoming the ultimate source of LGBT+ news worldwide.

Our target audience

The global LGBT+ community

LGBT+ influencers and opinion leads

Policy and media allies of the LGBT+ community

Opinion leading ABC1 media consumers


The brand identity rethinks and disrupts a basic circle or closed loop as a representation of the pre-existing media and cultural climate for the LGBT+ community. We carved this closed circle in two, in so doing reversing the two halves to create and echo the sense of openness and empowerment we were set on achieving with the platform itself.

Launch events were held simultaneously in New York at the United Nations General Assembly and in London, attracting hundreds of influencers and media. The branded content was displayed to enormous impact across Times Square. All of this was timed to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly in New York and National Coming Out Day in London, and the resultant coverage was both widespread and positive.


Within three months of launch, Openly changed the environment for the LGBT+ community of Malaysia for good when it reported on a discriminatory sex education campaign run by the government of Malaysia at the end of 2018. The resultant media pressure prompted the Malaysian Health Ministry to amend the programme, dropping the “gender identity disorder” content they had initially included and more countries around the world look set to follow in these footsteps.

United Nations’ Human Rights Officer, Fabrice Houdart, spoke at the United Nations General Assembly describing Openly as having made a “significant difference to the lives of LGBT+ people”.

Openly content is now running across 750 broadcasters in 115 countries and over 1,000 newspaper groups and digital publishers.

Openly has reached 118 million readers in 48 countries, including Russia, Uganda, Bangladesh, Qatar, Turkey, Pakistan, Jordan, Israel and Malaysia in the three months following its launch.

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