Cannes Lions

The Defiant Ones: You Will Never

HBO, New York / HBO / 2018

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Throughout the documentary, one thing is made explicitly clear: Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are driven by a sense of defiance. We suspected that same defiant spirit lived in all of us. The idea was to awaken it with “You Will Never.”

“You Will Never” is more than a campaign concept. It’s a challenge to overcome your obstacles. It’s a chance to turn fear and doubt into determination and drive. And it’s a call to arms for all those who dare to defy.


The “You Will Never” campaign started with an unexpected event: Dr. Dre returning to Instagram after more than a year to drop a first look at the film. This single drop created ripples.

Soon after, artists and musicians closest to Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine took up the charge and opened up about their struggles, setbacks, and ultimate successes in a pre-premiere social campaign.

That led into the “You Will Never” interview series. Influential leaders in their fields – like Dwayne Johnson, Nas, Lizzo, Kevin Durant, Aluna George and more – opened up to tell their stories of defying doubt, overcoming struggle, and achieving success in a “You Will Never” video series.

And in the days leading up to the documentary premiere, fans joined in. They used branded digital tools, like the “You Will Never” generator and “Defiant” Snapchat lens to declare their own defiance, sharing with their followers.


We set out to prove that defiance lives in all of us. With a single post from Dr. Dre, “You Will Never” started a ripple effect that spread from icons to up-and-comers and ultimately, to the fans. “You Will Never” expanded a documentary’s story into the rallying cry for a movement fueled by defiance.

The “You Will Never” video series earned more than 56 million social impressions. The “Defiant” Snapchat lens was used more than 1.2 million times in 24 hours. And The Defiant Ones became the 2nd most watched documentary in HBO history.

But more than social reach, “You Will Never” gave the next generation of defiant ones the strength, voice, and tools to look past their doubters and determine their own story. In the words of @Javallon on Twitter, “The Defiant Ones may have just changed my life.”

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