Cannes Lions

Unboxing the Truth

TBWA\CHIAT\DAY, New York / THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION / 2019

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Case Film
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Today there are 40 million slaves worldwide. Hidden deep within supply chains, slavery has been impossible for consumers to see. Thomson Reuters Foundation is a leader in combating slavery — providing companies a program which identifies slavery in their production processes — but needed to generate a groundswell among consumers to really make an impact.

The objective was to raise awareness of and generate conversation among millennial consumers about forced labor in products’ supply chains, making them rethink their purchasing habits without shaming companies. Success would be measured by:

- organic views on YouTube and other social channels, without paid support

- organic PR coverage

- uplift in social conversation about forced labor

- unique visits to the Foundation website

Budget: ~$55k

Media budget: $0

The unboxings were released via social media through Thomson Reuters Foundation channels and influencers via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (~10 posts on each product).

Idea

Today there are 40 million slaves worldwide. Thomson Reuters Foundation provides a technology that detects slavery hidden in supply chains. We needed to create a groundswell among millennial consumers.

We created three products manufactured in slavery-prevalent industries, ethically and from scratch – shoes (fashion), headphones (technology) and makeup (beauty) – with facts about slavery embedded in the design, symbolizing how slavery is hidden in supply chains. Each product told a story as it was unboxed.

The sneaker utilized key elements that dramatize today’s sweatshops. Its one-of-a-kind makeup told the story of illegally mined mica, and also included actual mica. The headphones played a recording of a former slave talking about inhumane conditions in the mines.

We sent them to top influencers (combined 2.5 million subscribers) to unbox the truth. By releasing the sneaker during NBA finals, headphones during Cyber Monday, and makeup during holiday shopping, we ignited a global conversation.

Strategy

Today there are 40 million slaves worldwide, 75% in Forced Labor. But despite today’s activism culture, there were <400k Forced Labor social posts the last three years combined.

Due to the rise in influencers, consumers hold more power than ever to impact brands. So to make an impact, we needed to create a groundswell among millennial consumers.

We created three products from scratch in slavery-prevalent industries with hidden messages about slavery. Without any media budget we wove ourselves into the consumer journey hacking unboxing, which 1 in 5 people on YouTube are watching, 62% with intent to buy. When conversation about each product peaked – during NBA finals (sneakers), holiday shopping (makeup), and Cyber Monday (headphones) – we sent them to influencers (2.5M followers).

We asked people to consider the human price of the things they buy, to change their buyer habits and spark conversation.

Execution

By releasing the sneakers during NBA finals, the headphones during Cyber Monday, and makeup during holiday shopping, we sparked a global conversation.

Release Dates:

Sneakers – 3/15/18

Headphones – 12/3/18

Makeup – 12/17/18

The unboxings were displayed via social media through Thomson Reuters Foundation channels and influencers via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

# of times the content was placed per platform:

Shoes — ~10 times across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

Headphones — ~10 times across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

Makeup — ~10 times across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

Influencers: Jacques Slade (1M subscribers), David “The Unlckr” Cogen (529K subscribers) and Shameless Maya (1.1M subscribers)

Media budget $0

Outcome

By releasing the sneaker during NBA finals, headphones during Cyber Monday, and makeup during holiday shopping, we ignited a global conversation.

- 16 million+ total media impressions

- 154% traffic increase to the Foundation’s site

- 56% increase in FL conversation

- $0 spent on media

- Front page r/sneaker reddit

It received such global press the sneaker was invited be features at Phillips Gallery in NYC alongside 24 of the most iconic sneakers ever made by artists such as Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami and Shepard Fairey.

And countless consumers committed to changing habits:

@LivingDadly: “As someone who enjoys tech, I’ll pause when I do my holiday shopping.”

@SeanSheppard: “Man, hats off to you for presenting that in a way that makes all of us think about what we are buying and doing on a day-to-day basis. Respect.”

@meverseyoublog: “I’ll be more conscious of makeup I purchase in the future.”

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2019, THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION

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