Responses by Montse Barrena, EVP, group account director, Deutsch
Background: The purpose of the project was to refocus attention on the survivors who really need our help and support. We’re in a time where much of the focus on #MeToo has been redirected to boardroom scandals and the “uncertain futures” of powerful perpetrators. It’s time to bring the movement back to the beginning—to the survivors and supporters. Through this effort, we hope to reach and move everyone: those who can empathize with these personal stories of survival and survivors that need to be reassured that they are not alone.
Reasoning: The core idea of the movement is: We see you. We hear you. We believe you. These stories aren’t meant to be about survivors reliving the trauma of the assault, but about sharing their stories of survival in hopes that it will help others heal. The overarching message was to let survivors know that they are not alone and we support them. The visual treatment came from the idea of bringing to life their stories through sound waves. Through animation, we were able to capture the essence of the narrative in its raw form.
Challenges: The survivors were extremely brave and generous to share their personal stories with us, and the world. We felt responsible for making sure we portrayed their stories as they had intended and true to how they were shared with us. We wanted to make sure that when they watched the videos for the first time, they would be as proud of them as we were.
Favorite details: Every bit of these beautiful films was inspired by the survivors. Their voices, their tears, their hope and their stories of survival shaped every creative decision we made, from the animation to the music. We loved being able to create the four powerful PSAs “Terry,” “Emily,” “Daniela” and “Anonymous” in their lens.
Specific demands: This project was incredibly rewarding, yet emotionally draining at the same time. Listening to these stories that these survivors have lived with for a long time is very difficult to hear. You hear it in their voices and it takes us all on an emotional journey. And when we saw them listen and watch their videos for the first time, we knew we had something special. The next step of #metoo is about the survivors and we’re proud to have been able to make this work happen for Tarana Burke and the movement.
Anything new: We learned that everyone copes with the aftermath of sexual assault in different ways. Some don’t feel the need to share their story. Others believe that sharing it and holding the perpetrator accountable is the only way to move forward. As supporters, we need to understand that everyone has the right to choose their own journey.