Cannes Lions

Sister Hearts

SQUARE, INC., San Francisco / SQUARE / 2019

Awards:

1 Bronze Cannes Lions
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Film
Case Film
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

The For Every Kind of Dream series helps Square’s brand differentiate on our purpose of economic empowerment. We strengthen the emotional connection that sellers have for Square by sharing our purpose, values and principles to foster trust and brand affinity. Our message: We believe in empowering anyone to succeed on their own terms.

Idea

The film’s storyline follows Maryam Henderson-Uloho as she goes about running her thrift store in Arabi, Louisiana. We soon reveal that there’s a lot more going on at the store than meets the eye. It also serves as a transitional housing facility for female ex-offenders returning to society from prison. We learn that Maryam is an ex-offender herself, and her idea for her store began with her own struggle to find housing and employment after being released from prison. Our story bounces back and forth between Maryam and her “Sister Hearts” at the store, and Maryam speaking to current female inmates inside a Louisiana prison. The film culminates in a dramatic reveal as we get to know several sister hearts as multi-dimensional human beings.

Strategy

The goal for this series is to improve brand awareness and affinity for Square and continue to position Square as the champion voice within the small business community. Like previous Dreams films, the heart of this campaign will be the short film. We created a multichannel engagement and distribution plan to showcase our seller’s story in meaningful and impactful way. Our seller is our hero and we shared her story in environments that have reach and scale, but are also positively aligned with her social causes.

Execution

Research and development for Sister Hearts began in June 2017, followed by scouting and pre-production in August 2017. Principal photography occurred in late October and early November 2017. Post production occurred from November 2017 to March 2018.

The first private screening was held in March 2018 for female inmates inside Orleans Parish Prison with the film’s subject Maryam Uloho, civil rights activists Shaka Senghor and Topeka K. Sam of #CUT50, and Square CEO Jack Dorsey giving talks. A second screening was held at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts with the same speakers plus New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell participating in panel discussions.

The film was publicly released online on March 16, 2018 as a Vimeo Staff Pick. The film’s public theatrical debut was at the SXSW Film Festival in March 2018.

Outcome

Sister Hearts received a Vimeo Staff Pick and has 18 million+ organic views and impressions across owned channels and earned media as of April 2019. The film won the Tribeca X Award at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2018. The supporting campaign resulted in millions of impressions and hundreds of thousands of media views on social.

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