Behind The Work

SILENCE IS DEADLY

Senior Writer and Editor
Hannah Lindley joined Havas Group in October 2021 as a Senior Writer and Editor. She has a background in corporate reputation management, journalism, and creative writing.
Havas Portugal recently put together a powerful pro bono campaign to illustrate one of the world’s silent killers – death by drowning, which impacts children everywhere. The campaign appeared in publications across the world. Hear more about the campaign from Havas Portugal’s Creative Director, Jose Vieira.

How did you get involved with this campaign?

All of us, in one way or another, have been faced with a situation where a child, nephew or someone we know was in danger because of a distraction at a pool or beach. This is a real problem that happens everywhere. Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death involving children in our country – and in the last year alone, more than 238,000 people died worldwide from drowning. This fact touched us and we wanted to do something to raise awareness for this issue.

How did you concept the idea?

We wanted to show very obviously how silent death by drowning is. That’s why we used a powerful illustration putting a heavy metal band playing inside a swimming pool to show that nothing could be heard outside the water. It was a very simple, effective idea that APSI (Association for the Promotion of Child Safety) immediately approved.

Can you talk about the partners you worked with to bring this to life?

We contacted Garage, a production company we work with regularly, who immediately agreed to work on this project. Director Enrique Escamilla was touched by the idea from the very beginning and used all his mastery to execute on it. Then Fred, a brilliant Portuguese musician, did the soundtrack. Dozens of other people were involved in the project. We would like to thank them all for their dedication and commitment.

“Our local idea became global – everyone wanted to make a noise about this silent enemy.”

How did you choose the band to perform in this campaign and can you speak to the logistics of filming it?

The big question was how to film the musicians underwater in a natural way while still showing that heavy metal attitude. The band is made up of 3 non-actors, who could hold their breath underwater for at least 2 minutes – so we could capture the best images. The soundtrack was also a key piece, as we wanted to illustrate how the water “muffles” the sound so that outside nothing was heard – only the birds singing. The beauty was in the details.

What’s the reception been like for this campaign so far and what constitutes success to you here?

From the moment we launched everyone (without exception) loved this ad. Thousands of people, organisations and media shared the ad. In 2 days more than 300 articles were written and it was the editor’s pick and ad of the day in many publications such as Adweek, Campaign, The Drum and Ad Age. It has reached more than 30 countries, such as China, India, Australia, the United States, Turkey, Brazil and the UK. Our local idea became global – everyone wanted to make a noise about this silent enemy.

Credits

Client: APSI (Portuguese Association for Child Safety)

President: Sandra Nascimento

Communication and Institutional Affairs: Rosa Afonso

Agency: Havas Worldwide Portugal

ECC: Paulo Pinto

Creative Director: José Vieira

Senior Art Director: Sávio Hatherly

Senior Copywriter: Bernardo Tavares

Client Services Director: Sérgio Resende

Junior Account Junior: José Cerdeira

Trainee Account: António Barreto

Production Company: Garage

Director: Enrique Escamilla

Dop: Manuel Braga

Executive Producer: Miguel Varela, Cláudia Costa

Production Director: Celina Morais

Casting Director: Ricardo Moura

Post-production coordinator: Bia Pereira

Editor: André Adam

Assistant Director: Nuno Dray

Casting: Miguel Coelho, Antonio Alvim, Svend Jensen

Grade: Lightfilm

Online: Ingreme

Music: Fred Ferreira

Mix Sound: Dizplay

Media Agency: Havas Sports & Entertainment Portugal

Managing and Creative Partner: Ana Torres

Senior Content Project Manager: Francisco Ladeira

Strategic Consulting Manager: Frederico Caetano

Chief Investment Officer: Vitor Dourado

Negotiation Manager: Paulo Santos

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