Cannes Lions



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Demo Film






We've all found ourselves reaching for the mute button when we see an ad we don't like. But for the first time ever, we created an ad where the mute button was part of the message itself.

More than 75% of all Facebook video views occur without sound. Using this insight, we created videos that, at first glance, didn't appear to require the user to listen. But when the videos were unmuted, they told a completely different story, about a man struggling with his mental health.

We knew the first 3-5 seconds of online videos are crucial to an ads success, so we deliberately hooked viewers in by offering them the chance to learn a simple, helpful trick. Then, after a few seconds, we revealed the twist – that it was actually the man in the video who needed help.


The videos were designed to trick viewers into believing they were watching unbranded, user generated film that had been created using a low-grade mobile phone camera and uploaded to Facebook.

As we knew 99% of readers would be reading the subtitles, much care was taken in syncing the actual dialogue of the talent with subtitled words and phrases that fit their mouth movements exactly. The result was a film that could be played both with and without sound, with no recognisable abnormalities.

The films were initially released on the pages of men's social media communites such as UniLad and TheLadBible, disguised to appear as native content on these pages. This was done to give the user the impression they were simply watching a regular how-to video, rather than an advertisement.

The films were also supported by a small amount of paid media. This helped them spread far beyond Movembers social pages, and reach influencers and news media.


The Umute films became some of the most viewed pieces of social content in Movember’s history; with the BBQ video becoming the number one trending video on Reddit for 24 hours. By the end of the campaign, the three videos had amassed a combined 3 million views, and was shared by media outlets such as Mashable, Relevant, UniLAD, Huff Post, The Australian Newspaper and The Irish Times.

Combined, the films reached 8 million people, with only a minuscule media spend.

Most importantly though, the campaign has currently directed 58,000 people to support services on Each one of these interactions is the start of a potentially lifesaving conversation.

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