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The Little Chicken Named Pong-Pong

WEBER SHANDWICK, London / PEARSON / 2017

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Overview

Background

Illiteracy is a global crisis. It impacts one in ten people alive today, including 32 million adults in the US and 5 million adults in the UK. Evidence suggests that illiteracy is the root cause of almost every major problem humanity faces.

Yet the stigma of being an illiterate adult means that it’s largely an invisible problem. It’s also a problem that is passed on from generation to generation: the single greatest indicator of a child’s future success is the literacy of their parents.

Project Literacy is a global campaign founded and convened by Pearson to make advances in the fight against illiteracy. Our brief was to deliver a campaign to mark International Literacy Day (8th September) in order to drive awareness of the issue of intergenerational illiteracy and highlight the need for investment in adult literacy programmes as a way of breaking this cycle.

Execution

We celebrated Wanda’s creativity by publishing one of her stories – ‘The Little Chicken Named Pong-Pong’, her retelling of ‘Chicken Little.’ We enlisted the help of actor Idris Elba to perform a heartfelt ‘bedtime reading’ of Wanda’s new story.

On the morning of International Literacy Day, Idris released the reading on his social channels. Interviews with Idris then aired on both sides of the Atlantic. A fourteen-hour sell-in to reach both UK and US media with regional statistics and case studies drove on-the day coverage highlighting illiteracy as a problem in our own backyards.

Social support from celebrities including Gillian Anderson, Chelsea Clinton, Neil Gaiman and Forest Whitaker, helped spread the word about Wanda’s story. Influencer support came from YouTubers Niomi Smart and Jim Chapman, as well as leading parenting bloggers.

We also collaborated with 60 Second Docs, a social publisher producing documentaries for Facebook, to cover Wanda’s personal story.

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