Cannes Lions

Stand Up To Bullying

GREY NEW YORK, New York / CANON / 2017

Case Film
Case Film
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Comedy is a driving force in modern imaging culture. From memes and gifs to AR lenses and YouTube parodies, visual humor has become a vital means of self-expression, connection and even a tool for healing. As part of their year long Rebel With A Cause Program, Canon wanted to explore the potential of humor as therapy. Working with comedians, child psychologists and YouTube star Anna Akana they developed a first-of-its-kind initiative to help victimized kids Stand Up To Bullying. 

Participants first trained with renowned improv group, The Groundlings, transforming harmful taunts into jokes, lessening the impact of the insults and taking power back from the bullies. Once training was complete and routines honed, they got to stand up and perform in front of the cameras - and a live audience - boosting their confidence and creating inspiring video content to help thousands of kids in similar circumstances. 


To take the teens and media through the program, we identified a notable ambassador for the cause - anti-bullying advocate and YouTube star, Anna Akana.

Select media were invited onsite for a first-hand experience and to participate in their own improve training for the “Stand-Up to Bullying” program.

The reporters’ personalized experience, included:

• Intimate round table with Anna Akana and The Groundlings all sharing their personal experiences about how comedy helped them overcome struggles in their lives.

• Customized improv class with Akana, Child Psychiatrist and The Groundlings similar to that of the student’s.

• Audience member for the student’s stand-up event featuring their very own 5-minute stand-up routines using previous words of their bullies.

Media in attendance were embargoed until the video launch to drive views and additional media were targeted for coverage timed to launch.


- 153 Million PR impressions

- 2.1 Million in estimated ad value

- 11 Million video views with a 75% completion rate (6% above YouTube’s benchmark)

- Coverage and praise from media outlets including Forbes, Huffington Post and Pop Sugar

- Hundreds of positive YouTube comments from kids in similar situations

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