Responses by Nick Dutnall, managing director, Aesop Agency
Background: The aim of the #UnseenStories campaign is to help raise £800,000, or $1,038,160.00, for anti-slavery charity Unseen UK, in the build-up to Anti-Slavery Day on October 18. Since its life-saving call center, the Modern Slavery Helpline, will be shut down on November 30, 2019 if urgent funding isn’t received, we are calling on members of the public in the United Kingdom to donate what they can to keep the helpline alive.
Reasoning: The modern slavery epidemic is happening in our towns and cities, and often right under our noses. We wanted to shine a light on the victims’ hidden plights by juxtaposing the false dream of a better life they are sold by unscrupulous traffickers, with the brutal reality of a life in slavery. Using a story-within-a-story typographic technique and lenticular printing technology, we created posters and billboards as well as social media executions, driving people to donate to Unseen UK.
Challenges: As all of the Unseen UK’s funding was directed towards keeping the helpline open, the entire campaign was funded by Aesop Agency, with help from production, media and public relations partners.
Favorite details: Conveying emotion and achieving impact without relying on any imagery, using two very tonally different pieces of text in a single piece of creative. We were both surprised and delighted with the final outcome.
Visual influences: The trend of Instagram poetry was a creative reference point for the campaign, while type foundry Dalton Maag donated bespoke font Activ Grotesk for Aesop to use.
Time constraints: The work needed to be live before Anti-Slavery Day on October 18, and all the elements of the campaign—social, out of home, experiential and public relations—needed to be activated in a specific order. With a small team, relying on the goodwill of production partners and friends, the timing took on a new complexity, but the end result was just as we imagined: Awesome.