Cannes Lions

#VictoryPages: Social Media History

RT CREATIVE LAB, Moscow / RT / 2020

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Overview

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Overview

Background

In Russia, Victory Day is among the most remarkable dates. Almost every family had ancestors who fought in the war. But the younger people are losing connection with this part of history. They say they feel alienated by "military parades and same-old approach in year-to-year TV celebrations". So we decided to give young Russians a chance to express themselves in digital art in the format of social networks.

Idea

In Russia, Victory Day is among the most remarkable dates. Almost every family had ancestors who fought in the war. But the younger people are losing connection with this part of history. That's why we decided to give young Russians a chance to express themselves in digital art in the format of social networks.

#VictoryPages is the versatile social media documentary commemorating the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany. It is a story of Victory told by the young for the young, using the tools and language of digital media over five social networks, employing visual art, interactive formats, 3D animations, Virtual & Augmented realities, and dynamic real-time storytelling. It pays tribute to all WW2 veterans and heroes who protected our future from the threat of Nazism. This educational project builds engaging narratives through social media and interactive formats to keep the legacy of our ancestors’ sacrifices alive.

Strategy

We worked with over a dozen different databases. Like the archive of 7,000+ family war-time letters (for Instagram Stories), like military photo archives (used to create 3D content and animated series), like St. Petersburg's History Museum where a unique collection of children’s war-time drawings is preserved (turned into VR animation series).

In our approach, we aimed to create a cross-platform digital project but with its unique style and voice. The key element to the visual identity is the specially designed #VictoryFont: a typeface compiled from hundreds of original historical inscriptions left by soldiers on the Reichstag walls in 1945. Behind each font character, there is a real letter, hand-written by soldiers 75 years ago. The project also features an original soundtrack with a duration of several hours, composed by a diverse line-up of emerging young artists. Each music piece is created for a certain part of the project.

Execution

The #VictoryPages project took place across 5 social networks and consists of different elements and unique content exclusively created and published on a designated platform.

On Facebook, young graphic designers and digital artists present their interpretation of the legacy of war using Facebook as their exhibition space. Works feature digital colorization, VR animation, 3D photos, documentary video sketches, and much more.

Instagram is dedicated to war-time letters. “Endless Letter” is a unique graphic series featuring hundreds of excerpts from original WW2 front-line letters with illustrations created by young students of the Moscow RANEPA Design School shared line-by-line in Stories.

Twitter runs the most detailed chronology of the last months of the war in "real-time". Daily reports from the front, operational orders, real newspaper articles, urgent messages from the Soviet Information Bureau, and rare images recreate events through dynamic social media storytelling as if Twitter existed during the war.

A travel YouTube documentary explores modern anti-war street art in Europe and the history of graffiti left by soldiers on Reichstag walls in 1945.

VK.com hosts a podcast series - an audio experience that offers a fresh take on the legacy of World War 2 as heard by the young generations. It features a unique music design created for every episode.

The key element to the visual identity of the project is the specially designed #VictoryFont - a unique typeface compiled from hundreds of original historical inscriptions left by victorious soldiers on the Reichstag walls in May 1945. Behind each font character, there is a real letter, hand-written by soldiers 75 years ago.

We have also launched an augmented reality experience that allows anyone to make their own commemorative graffiti on walls and to bring illustrations alive during the large-scale exhibition of the project which was held across Moscow parks.

Outcome

#VictoryPages generated more than 35 million impressions, 250,000 engagements, over 50,000 followers, 4,000,000 video views (800,000 minutes of watch time) and over 200 media publications. #VictoryPages expanded the reach by also going offline as a large-scale exhibition was held in 12 main parks in Moscow. Over 250 unique posters were specially created for this out-of-home experience which also had an interactive element - many of the posters could be brought to life through a special AR App. Tens of thousands of park-goers interacted with the project and had a chance to watch the static images turn into animated musical shorts. Different elements of the project have also been recognized at many international creativity festivals, film festivals, and "social good" awards such as "the Internet's highest honor" Webby/Lovie Awards, Vancouver International Film Festival, Shorty Social Good Award, and VR Awards (for social impact).

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#VictoryPages: Social Media History

RT CREATIVE LAB, Moscow

#VictoryPages: Social Media History

2021, RT

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