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.
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.
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
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