Globally 2 million underage girls are trapped in brothels. That’s an unpleasant reality to confront on October 11, International Day of the Girl, a day advocated by the United Nations since 2012 to address the needs of girls.
NGO, Free a Girl, is working to make girls free to be girls, not sex slaves, in India, Bangladesh, Brazil and many other regions. It needs the world’s help. One of the problems it faces is that many of us in so-called “safer” parts of the world don’t see this problem as “our” problem.
DDB Unlimited thought, “What if it was our OWN daughter, sister or grandchild?” The agency has used Face Swap technology in a social experiment that gave parents an experience of this horror in its campaign for Free a Girl.
Unlike usual awareness billboards featuring anonymous girls, DDB Unlimited’s digital out-of-home billboard used face swap technology to replace the face of a young girl sitting on a bed in an Indian brothel with that of one of the girls passing by. Every girl whose face was used in the experiment was accompanied by her mother, father or grandparents so that they were also confronted with the campaign message, Fight child prostitution as if she was your own.
Evelien Hölsken, director and co-founder of Free a Girl, stated, “With this campaign we’ve given the problem a face. The face of a girl who could be your daughter, sister or girlfriend. We want everyone to stand up for the girls who are exploited in prostitution.”
Ysabelle Tierie, creative at DDB Unlimited, noted, “In communication, it’s always a challenge to break through the clutter. To generate impact. People get flooded by so many messages that almost nothing reaches them. Technology is one of the things that can help us break this barrier. This allows us to make our message relevant and personal. So that we can relate to other people’s situation.”
Free A Girl is known for previous social campaigns such as 2017’s School for Justice in India and has rescued almost 4500 underage girls from prostitution since its inception 11 years ago.
Agency: DDB Unlimited
Creatives: Robin Poelmann & Ysabelle Tierie
Creative Directors: Friso Ludenhoff & Maarten Vrouwes
Senior Producers: Nelly de Wit & Roel Grijspaardt
Assistant Producer: Armando Markar
Editor: Lars Noback
Managing Director: Esther te pas
PR: Cathelijn de Reede @ Springtide Studios
Creative PR: Jessica Hartley @ The Humblebrag
Director & Creative Producer: Bart van Dam Q @ More than TV
DOP: Kees van Hattum
First Assistant Director: Jeroen Mente
Production Assistant: Freddy LLoyd
VFX: Bram Vleugel & Bram Buddingh @ Post Office
Grading: Patcharee Sa-ardkitinun
Sound Design: Dyno Hedges @ Bridge Tone Sound