Glass: The Lion For Change > Glass: The Lion for Change



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Plan International UK briefed us to help emotionally connect the charity with women on International Day of The Girl 2021 in order to increase brand awareness, brand understanding, and relevance

Specifically we needed to increase awareness of Plan International as champion of girls' rights, celebrate the power and strength of girls, and highlight the barriers and inequalities they continue to face.


Reach: 1,233,237

Engagements: 595,448

Website visits: 3089

Describe the cultural / social / political climate and the significance of the work within this context

Uncomfortable truth: girls may receive the same formal education as boys, but they’re educated in an informal curriculum too - one they never asked for.

Girls as young as seven feel they cannot say or do what they want because of gender stereotyping, with more than half of girls in the UK having been told they could not do something that boys could.

Whether on television and films, or from friends, family and society, the majority of girls say they are being taught that they are:

- Irrational or hysterical (60%)

- Better suited to housework and/or should take care of the home(72%)

- ‘Bossy’ if they are being assertive (61%)

- Not good at sports (53%) or DIY/fixing things(60%)

By the time a girl reaches her early teen years she will have spent years ‘learning’ this warped curriculum. It teaches girls to devalue themselves; to doubt and question their abilities. It is a miss-education. Written by society - not only schools and parents - by all of us. This is the truth we uncovered through our research, talking groups and workshopping. And the truth we spoke to connect Plan International UK to women everywhere on International Day of the Girl 2021.

Describe the creative idea

We’re a social creative agency, and as this was a social brief, we worked with the social trend of choreography as our storytelling device. With the majority of people watching social with the sound off, our story had to make sense with no sound. We decided our twist on the message would rely heavily on visual cues; choreography, location and costume.

We represented the miss-education as a heavy, cumbersome graduation gown, embroidered with harmful and limiting rhetoric, stitched into the fabric of girls’ lives. Our message was one of empowerment - Unpick the Pattern.

We told a story through choreography of one girl, weighed down by a graduation gown of labels. She struggles through school hallways, pulling at her restricting garment. Eventually, seam by seam, thread by thread, she tears away the shackles, revealing her inner strength beneath the suffocating expectations of society - throwing them back at us all.

Describe the strategy

Plan International’s target audience was young women aged 25-40 that were socially-active (both in terms of social media and social movements).

We knew we needed women to be the key creative decision-makers for the work to ring true. Our work started with listening workshops and research, pouring over the wealth of research Plan International had undertaken with schoolgirls across the UK, as well as evaluating our team’s personal experience of girlhood and how that shaped us as we grew into adulthood.

We explored several territories but kept coming back to gender stereotypes. Plan International’s own research found that 68% of girls in the UK feel held back by harmful gender stereotypes, and this rang true in our own discussions with colleagues, friends, and family members of all the “lessons” that impacted, and still continue to impact, the lives of girls and women both in the UK and internationally.

Describe the execution

Considerable thought went into every detail of the script, costume, cinematography and choreography. For example, each of the ‘lessons’ was a verbatim of something that had been said to, or overheard by a girl which surfaced during our research.

We used the frame as a storytelling device. As our protagonist Davey breaks free from the limits of her “miss-education'' she pushes the edges of the frame to the sides, literally forcing a wider perspective.

The channel strategy leant heavily towards TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Launching on International Day of The Girl, the message was for everyone; help unpick the pattern and unlearn the lessons of a miss-education.

Partnerships helped to increase reach impact further, aligned to key messaging and supported the overall campaign objectives. Plan International UK collaborated with, and was championed by, some of the world's biggest brands including The Body Shop, Urban Outfitters, Credit Suisse and Astrazeneca.

Describe the results / impact

2021 was the most engaged International Day of the Girl yet

Our work was benchmarked against the previous year’s activity.

Monitoring the immediate reaction to the work, we knew we had touched a nerve with the public.

The media budget was increased by 25% vs the previous year, but the results disproportionately improved compared to this increase, reaching 9.4 million people across the UK, a 663% year-on-year increase.

The campaign also achieved +106% YoY increase in engagements, and a +230% YoY increase in website visits.

“We’re really pleased with the content performance across owned & organic media which is just a brilliant result,” said Hannah Davies, Head of Brand and Digital Engagement at Plan.

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