Human Rights Watch (HRW) Design & Branding BURMA by J. Walter Thompson New York


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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers, Human Rights
Media Design & Branding
Market United States
Agency J. Walter Thompson New York
Executive Creative Director Andrew Clarke, Kash Sree
Art Director Roy Wisnu Hariadi
Copywriter Chris Swift
Producer Paul Charbonnier, John Minze, Tadd Ryan
Photographer Izzy Levine, Bill Bramswig, Platon
Released June 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Charities & Not For Profit
Date of First Appearance: Jun 22 2010
Entrant Company: JWT NEW YORK, USA
Chief Creative Officer: Harvey Marco/Peter Nicholson (JWT New York)
Executive Creative Director: Andrew Clarke (JWT New York)
Head of Art: Aaron Padin (JWT New York)
Art Director: Roy Wisnu (JWT New York)
Copywriter: Chris Swift (JWT New York)
Director of Photography: Izzy Levine (JWT New York)
Director of Integrated Production: Clair Grupp (JWT New York)
Director of Production: Nick Scotting/Kit Liset (JWT New York)
Producer: Paul Charbonnier/John Minze/Tadd Ryan (JWT New York)
Account Executive: Lindsay Gash (JWT New York)
Art Buyer: Elizabeth Corkley/Sara Levi (JWT New York)
Project Manager: Elaine Barker/Jessie Hoyt (JWT New York)
Photographer: Izzy Levine/Bill Bramswig/Platon (JWT New York)
Production Company: (Cigar Box Studios / Graphic Technology / Uni-Graphic / Print International / Circle Graphics / C2 Graphics)
Editing House: (JWTwo)
Interactive Creative Director: Mason Hedgecoth (JWT New York)
Digital Production: Pam Scheideler/Martin Legowiecki/Charlie Shipman/William Mincy/Sean Tarrant/Gabe (JWT New York)
Post Production: Michelle Carman/Cameron Lewis/Will White (JWT New York)
Digital Studio: (JWT Digital Studio)
Rich Media Partner: (EyeWonder)
Media placement: Direct Mailing - Postcards - New York Metropolitan area - 14 June 2010
Media placement: Installation - Grand Central Terminal, New York City - 22 June 2010
Media placement: Installation - Foyer of Svetozor Theater, Prague - 10 March 2011
Media placement: Installation - European Parliament, Brussels - 24 March 2011
Media placement: Digital Banner - Time Out Website - 29 April 2011

Describe the brief from the client
In 2010, Burma held its first elections in 20 years. These elections would have been meaningless if more than 2,100 political prisoners remained locked up in Burma’s squalid prisons. Human Rights Watch created a campaign calling for the release of these innocent prisoners by utilising added pressure from the public and the United Nations.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
It was the right time to put the spotlight on Burma and the plight of the prisoners languishing in Burma’s jails. Awareness of the elections in Burma was low among many people in the United States and across the globe. HRW needed to gain the attention of the media, the world leaders and the prisoners’ captors. This hinged upon the success of engaging the public in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall. The challenge was to do this in a way that would get jaded commuters to stop, listen and take action.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
A giant installation (7’x 18’) was built at New York’s Grand Central Terminal. The installation featured a massive mock prison with 200 miniature cells and 2,000 pens in lieu of cell bars. Visitors could remove the pens to symbolically free the prisoners, and then use the pens to sign an onsite petition calling for their release. The experience was recreated online, allowing many more people to participate through an interactive digital banner. People could then sign and share their thoughts and experiences on the Human Rights Watch Facebook page.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
In less than 12 hours, tens of thousands of signatures were collected from people of 86 countries. The installation attracted media from around the globe. The petition book was then sent to the United Nations’ Secretary General and leaders of countries that maintain close ties with Burma. Due to its success, the installation toured Prague and Brussels. Human Rights Watch attracted over 80,000 people to their home page. Most importantly, more than 150 political prisoners have since been released, including opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.