BABEL, Paris / SANTÉ PUBLIQUE FRANCE / 2021
This PR campaign is based on the creative concept to solve a social and a public health matter surrounding the rejection of the LGBTQ+ community by promoting acceptance. To do so, we created a film and prints that both show representativness acceptance of LGBTQ people. The original music of the film, “We the lovers”, has a particular place in this campaign as its lyrics and singer's personal story carry a moving message. Indeed, Jean-Claude Pascal won the 1961 Eurovision by singing “We the lovers”, but at the time, no one knew the true meaning of its lyrics. This song was actually about a hidden homosexual love story that Jean-Claude Pascal was living at the time. It is through this song that the PR strategy was made, as a way to pull the thread of the urge to accept all types of sexual orientations and genders.
The campaign objective was to foster LGBTQ+ integration into the society. As we investigated the subject, we realized that society seemed to be moving toward acceptance. The extreme signs of violence, of discrimination that we saw reminded us that the change was in motion. That is why, instead of coming up with an injunctive campaign, about laws and penalties, we decided to encourage positive behaviors : living your LGBTQ+ love in the open (film), supporting your loved ones in their struggle and daily life whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity is (key visuals), or admitting that the path toward acceptance can be as rough as it is essential to reach happiness.
“We, the lovers” aims at being a mainstream campaign that does not corner LGBTQ+ people for what they are but chooses to deconstruct the social standard by pointing at unacceptable behavior from outside of the community.
The song of the film “We the lovers” which won the 1961 Eurovision has been used as an anthem of the entire campaign including the PR strategy. The lyrics tells the story of a forbidden love that directly echoes the personal story of its author Jean-Claude Pascal, who had to hide his homosexuality. That is why we used it in the PR campaign to reach the general public. For this purpose, we chose to introduce the campaign message in one of the country's biggest music TV shows: The Voice. Behind the implementation of a special showcase around love on May 17, international day against homophobia and date of release of the campaign, we highlighted the song "We the lovers". It was interpreted by candidates as well as other songs about love and acceptance of differences. The tv host promoted during the entire show our campaign and its messages.
The film's conception focused on a desire for authenticity regarding the daily life of LGBTQ+ people, as reflected in the choice of an open casting call. We shot the 14 scenes and the 5 key visuals in October 2020.
2021 marked the beginning of the post-production but also of the campaign outreach strategy. We launched the podcasts to pull the thread of the campaign surrounding acceptance of LGBTQ+’s relatives. Meanwhile, we started the deal with The Voice as part of the PR outreach of the campaign to put a focus on the song “We the lovers”.
As the media strategy was global - using TV, VOL, press, prints and podcasts - we had to adapt the creation to fit on those multiple supports. For instance, the film was declined in various formats to match media distribution and to focus on some of the issues portrayed in “We, the lovers”.
As we are reaching structural changes within society, it is hard to quantify in the short term the concrete impact of the campaign. Nonetheless, it was a historic campaign in which a public institution took position on a major and cleaving social issue.
The first numbers surrounding the campaign’s release are showing a great success :
60 press coverage on the day of the campaign's release
350 000 views of Santé publique France posts related to the campaign and the showcase
+1 300 000 listenings of the podcasts mediatize posts
Almost 15 millions views of the film on VOL
In addition, according to Santé publique France socials post-tests carried by BVA Institute “60% of the people surveyed said they were encouraged to take action against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender thanks to this campaign”.