Cannes Lions

The Sound of Slavery

SUPERHUMANS, Rome / A & E TELEVISION NETWORKS / 2017

Case Film

Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Description

To launch a series about slavery we chose to create an original track sung by the victims of modern slavery: we created a modern work song, Roots.

We wanted it to be a true, yet updated remake of the original ones; so, to create the base we replaced shovels and chains that Afro-Americans used to play to make the rhythm, with the sound of the modern tools of slavery.

Compelling lyrics about universal rights such as preservation of identity and dignity were written together with the singers: modern victims of slavery in Italy with touching personal stories.

We searched for an idea that could make universal a story seemingly far from Italian culture. And there’s nothing as powerful as music when it comes to express universal values that anyone can relate to, despite their roots.

Execution

We relied on History’s Facebook fan base releasing Roots music video a few hours before the premiere of the first two episodes of the series, creating hype and curiosity from the beginning.

During the four weeks of the airing users could discover more about the stories behind the track, thanks to weekly short videos of the singers who explained the modern forms of slavery.

We also partnered with Amnesty International Italia to turn the song into something more. People could buy the track trough the main online music store and donate to fight modern slavery.

In less than a month, with almost zero paid media we sparkled a conversation, actively contribute to a cause, and consistently increased the views of the tv series Roots.

Outcome

Media was impressed. With almost zero investment we generated a media value of 630k.

Users were definitely engaged: History’s Facebook reach increased by 24,6% and so did Facebook engagement with a raise of +19,4%.

And more importantly, the song was downloaded more than 7000 times, giving Amnesty International a concrete help to fight modern slavery.

The tv series was a success: reaching 215k total viewers and 1.5 million unique viewers across all airings.

The premiere nights were up from channel average by +136%, averaging 49k total viewers.

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