Wash your hands is a Covid safety imperative. But there are millions of people without access to clean water. One in ten people in the world is denied access to clean water and one in four people out of ten don’t have a decent toilet of their own. Without these basic human rights, overcoming poverty is just a dream, as is good health and combating a deadly virus like Covid-19. International charity WaterAid has been working for a number of years to change this. Right now, that job is even more urgent and it has partnered with Don’t Panic on a new campaign, Bring Water.
The agency picked up the rainbow symbol, which has become part of the Covid community response, a sign of solidarity and belief that began in schools, and that now adorns streets, filling the windows of homes and the temporarily closed windows of restaurants and businesses across the planet. In the campaign film, You Can’t Have a Rainbow Without Water, real rainbows are documented across the globe. From London, to Berlin, to New York, Amsterdam, Milan, Rome, Prague, LA and Adelaide. The wider campaign also includes rainbow contributions from Sir Quentin Blake, Joanna Lumley, David Shrigley, Ellie Simmonds and Tobias Menzies.
Johnty Gray, mass engagement director, WaterAid, commented, “The rainbow has become a powerful symbol of hope and unity during the Covid-19 outbreak, highlighting how we are all facing this crisis together and therefore a global effort is required to tackle it. Yet we are not all equally equipped to fight the pandemic. Globally, one in four health centres has no clean water, putting health workers and their patients at increased risk of infection. Through our campaign, we are sharing the message that getting clean water to everyone everywhere is key to fighting the spread of disease – you need water to get a rainbow.”
A challenge even in normal times, Stink Films was able to use its global reach to ask directors and photographers across the world to go out (safely) and capture the rainbows that filled their streets. No direction was given to how they captured their shots or to the camera that they used; resulting in a delightful aesthetic as each rainbow is shot in a unique way. Running parallel to this, Don’t Panic worked with WaterAid’s “voices from the field” teams in Ethiopia. A local artist visited each of the centres where the charity had just installed clean running water and painted rainbows of hope on their walls. Local filmmakers were then commissioned to capture the scenes. The 60-second film was shot in less than a week in multiple locations (Moscow, London, LA, New York, Berlin, Paris, Milan, Florence, Shanghai, Tokyo, Argentina, Chicago and Johannesburg) on an array of recording devices; DV, phones, Reds and 5Ds and then patiently pieced together by Stitch editor, Paul O’Reilly, to capture the hope that exists globally at the moment.
“What we felt we all wanted, was to see beyond the same four walls that have become our morning, day and night. To see the world again. So by partnering with Stink, we were able to shoot in several cities around the world on the same day. The good news is, the world is covered with hope. It’s in our living room windows, hanging from our balconies and plastered on our walls. We wanted to bottle that hope in our spot and spread it further to those who needed it most.” explained Rick Dodds, creative partner, Don’t Panic.
Katie Lambert, executive producer, Stink Films, commented, “This film was challenging as we had to capture a lot of rainbows, across multiple locations, in only four days. It was intense and wouldn’t have been possible without the help of all of Stink’s offices around the world; it’s only due to our fantastic producers that we were able to pull this off and the very talented directors and photographers who are friends of Stink. On a personal note, it was lovely to receive all of these unique perspectives from people across the world. I am very thankful to everyone who was involved.”
This is the first piece of creative from Don’t Panic for WaterAid after winning the business at the beginning of January. The work is part of a three- to five-year campaign the agency is devising, with media agency, The Kite Factory, to elevate the experience of supporting WaterAid. The agency is adopting a new creative approach and engagement strategy that optimises talkability, shareability and ultimately, consideration to support.
Joe Wade, Founding Partner, Don’t Panic, explained, “WaterAid, Stink and ourselves were united in the belief that no-one needs to see yet another advert with slow tracking shots of empty streets – or anything to do with Zoo. Having banned some of the obvious tropes of our times, and having access to WaterAid’s wonderful footage from the field, we were freed and able to create a film that’s upbeat and vibes but still manages to have emotional resonance. From the beginning the creative team wanted to use LCD Soundsystem, Oh Baby; it has a pace and energy that would complement and bring the film together. As luck would have it, the band united behind the cause and gave permission for the track to be used.”
The film launched on TV on May 19 and will run for six weeks. The TVCs will be supported by a social campaign that hopes to create mass engagement through shares, likes and comments.
Thanks to Joanna Lumley /Sir Quentin Blake / David Shrigley / Ellie Simmonds / Tobias Menzies / Burcu Ersahin / Adek Armedi / Vincent King / Bill Koske / Jim Cascarina / Rachel Walker / Hernan Correa / Ben Briand / Thierry Rajic / LEONE / Kosai / Hana Knizova / Petr Simon / Law Chen
A MrMr Film with contributions from David & Douglas / Nan O’ / Lokmane / Beatrice Pegard / Anna Asmus / Kirill Popvich / Khalil Akmetzyano / Sergey Kostromin / Petr Simon / Kevin Clarke / Nick Roney / H C Gordon / Noah Agemo / Judith Veenendaal / Hana Knizova / Kubo Krizo / Sylvie Weber / Rosie Litterick / Scott Perry / Kavita Babbar / Katie Pendleton / Vic Lentaigne / Nellie Heron Ansted / Charlie Hutchins / Thomas Terminet / Greg Bullock / Richard Papworth / Vittoria Simone / Chris Morenz