Responses by Faye Raincock, head of communications, Havas UK
Background: UN Women and the Global Innovation Coalition for Change (GICC) advance the opportunities of women in innovation. The She Innovates platforms provides a body of inspirational stories of female innovators as well as meet-ups, mentoring and support to help women to fulfill their potential. But before She Innovates can provide that help, it needs to overcome its greatest barrier—awareness. We can all name the world’s most successful male innovators, but how many can name the female ones who have done just as much to change the world? We decided to change that.
Reasoning: International Women’s Day was the right day to shout about women’s achievements, but it would also be crowded in terms of noise. We amplified our chosen female innovators in ways that would be impossible to ignore. We landed on the idea of photographing our women, and then blowing their faces up to sit comfortably on some of the biggest media and OOH sites in the world. We staged a takeover so that everywhere you looked, you just couldn’t miss the campaign.
Challenges: We thought that the most challenging aspect would be securing the sites. In the end, those came flooding in with partners readily offering up their OOH, media, print and digital platforms to support the Impossible to Ignore campaign. The most challenging aspect then became to deliver artwork to the specifications of up to 1,000 insertions in just two weeks. A herculean effort by the team!
Favorite details: In London and New York, Havas is based in multi-disciplinary Villages, which means our teams sit under one roof. Thanks to being able to work so closely together, we could pull teams from across all the parts of our business to bring the project to life. We take a huge amount of pride in delivering such impact with Impossible to Ignore. It was amazing to see the teams working together for an amazing cause.
Time constraints: It was a very quick turnaround—six weeks from the first meeting with the brilliant team at UN Women and the GICC to delivering the artwork in time for March 8th, International Women’s Day. We appreciate the trust Michelle King and Helene Molinier showed in us—and the results are testament to both teams’ belief that we must make women impossible to ignore.
Visual influences: The recent empowerment of women through movements like #MeToo had made us more determined than ever not to be ignored. Our chosen women are defiant, strong and powerful. They aren’t angry—just determined. It was also important to shoot them emerging from the shadows. That the depth of the black background represented a long history of being overlooked, but that today, our female innovators are stepping into the light.