Powa: WAKING UP THE NEIGHBOURHOOD by Ogilvy Johannesburg for People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA)

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Industry Public awareness
Media Promo & PR
Market South Africa
Agency Ogilvy Johannesburg
Executive Creative Director Fran Luckin
Art Director Renier Zandberg
Copywriter Taryn Scher
Producer Jo Barber
Released June 2011

Awards

Cannes Lions 2011
Promo & Activation Lions Charities Bronze

Credits & Description

Type of Entry: Product & Service
Category: Charities
Advertiser/Client: POWA
Product/Service: FEMALE ABUSE PREVENTION
Entrant Company: OGILVY JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Sales Promotion/Advertising Agency: OGILVY JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Executive Creative Director: Fran Luckin
Art Director: Renier Zandberg
Group Head: Robyn Bergmann
TV Producer: Debbie Dannheisser
Copywriter: Taryn Scher
Director/Editor: Jonty Fine (Frieze Films)
Producer: Jo Barber (Frieze Films)
Account Manager: Louise Johnston
Marketing Manager: Nonhlanhla Mokwena (POWA)
Sound Director: Jo Anne Darling-Risi
Sound Director: Zak Binikos
Public Relations: Maja Rode
Account Manager: Shera Esmade
Strategist: Dianne Springer
Describe the brief from the client:
We used the residents of a typical middle-class neighbourhood in South Africa as unknowing participants in a stunt designed to shock South Africans out of their apathy regarding woman abuse.
Our objective was to confront them with their own implicit tolerance of woman abuse, and force them to realise they are passively contributing to a society that allows 1400 women to be killed a year, because no one is willing to speak against it. We want people to show domestic violence was unacceptable in their community.
Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation:
Unbeknown to the residents, we set up an experiment in a middle-class neighbourhood in South Africa. Our aim was to expose the anomaly that people fail to act when they believe domestic violence is happening, but will happily complain over trivial matters. On one night we held a practice drumming session in a quiet town-house complex; on a different night we staged a violent domestic fight with the sounds of screams, smashing glass, punches and slamming doors, to see how the neighbours would respond. We documented the event and created a two-minute mini-documentary, which we sent around virally.
Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results:
Our stunt demonstrated what we’d set out to prove. We received vehement complaints about the drumming, but on the fight night, we heard nothing.
With no media budget, the once apathetic citizens became advocates for this anti-abuse message spreading it to millions of people. It’s been written about in over 4000 unique articles and blogs, discussed on radio, newspapers and received free flighting on local and international TV. It’s now the second best rated video on YouTube (SA, people and blogs). Calls to POWA increased by 311% with an unprecedented number of men (318%) calling to report suspected woman abuse.
Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service:
For the same budget as a typical anti-abuse poster campaign, we wanted something more impactful that would bring the message home. Literally. By simulating domestic violence where it happens, in ‘normal’ middle-class suburbs, we created an authentic reflection of the double standard most people demonstrate in that situation.
By sending it viral, high numbers of viewers recognized themselves in those who could help stop the violence, but chose not to. This resulted in a very personal experience about a sad irony that exists in society, confronting them with their passive role in domestic violence.

The Promo / PR Ad titled Powa: WAKING UP THE NEIGHBOURHOOD was done by Ogilvy Johannesburg advertising agency for product: Powa (brand: People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA)) in South Africa. It was released in Jun 2011.