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HK Strategies - Public Service Campaign

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Company: HK Strategies, Mexico City, Mexico
Company Description: Hill+Knowlton Strategies is a global public relations consulting company, headquartered in New York City, United States, with 90 offices in 52 countries. The company was founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1927.
Nomination Category: Communications & Marketing Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Public Service

Nomination Title: No es de Hombres (It's not for Men)

In up to 525 words, tell the judges about the nominated campaign: its genesis, development, planning, commission, and performance to date:

The societal issue/concern

87.7% percent of women in Mexico City feel unsafe while using public transportation. A recent research by UN Women shows that 9 in 10 women have experienced violence in the city’s public transport.

Campaign Objective

The objective of the campaign, led by UN Women and the Mexico City Council was to educate the public and generate awareness around this issue. The campaign was launched to raise awareness around the prevention of sexual harassment in the city’s public transportation. The 2-month campaign was in partnership with the “Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces for Women and Girls” program.

Strategy and Target

To generate interest, the campaign strategy targeted men instead of women. In a country where sexual harassment affects most women and girls’ lives, we put men in “women’s shoes”.

Campaign Structure

Phase 1 (5 days)

Two social experiments were conducted and documented via video in different cities in Mexico. In just a few hours, the videos went viral in Mexico and several countries around the world.

#1 The Penis Seat Experiment
To showcase what is considered “normal” (women falling on men’s lap or being touched inappropriately while taking a crowded bus or train) and help raise awareness on this unacceptable issue, the campaign featured a special seat in one of the main city trains with a sign that read “Exclusive for Men”. The seat was made up of a replica of a man’s genitals and featured a sign reading: “It’s uncomfortable to travel sitting here, but this cannot be compared to the sexual violence women suffer during their daily commutes.” The unmatched reactions were a demonstration of the impact and effectiveness of the main purpose of the campaign.

#2 The Screen Experiment: Men on the subway screens of Mexico City
A hidden camera in a high-transit train station in the city, captured men from their backs and broadcasted these shots live on the station’s screens. When these men noticed what was happening, they were noticeably uncomfortable and embarrassed, covering their backs with their hands, putting their backs against the wall, or frantically trying to find the camera that was filming them. This is how women feel when men look straight at their private parts during their daily commutes using the city’s public transportation.

Phase 2 (1 month, 25 days)

Once the campaign began generating media coverage and public interest, the names of the entities behind it were revealed. Continuing to generate awareness of female sexual harassment in the city’s public transportation, a series of advertisements were placed in several public transportation vehicles including buses, metro buses and other public spaces. These pieces showcased other forms of sexual harassment against girls and women that are usually overlooked, such as inappropriate looks, inappropriate comments and sexual gestures. More importantly, options for women to report these types of mistreatment were featured.

The campaign generated:

-30 million+ YouTube views
-Facebook: 1,000+ shares
-Twitter: 117 million impressions+ 4,000+ tweets, 3,000+ retweets
-300 million+ impressions in traditional media, equivalent to impact the entire Mexican population twice and Mexican internet users 44+ times
-More than US$ 11 million in advertising value

Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the team that created and carried out the nominated communications campaign (up to 125 words):

Vanessa Sánchez, Business Lead at JWT Mexico and part of “LEADERSHE” in JWT Worldwide, has 17 years of experience creating brands. She has worked with UNICEF and in the last 2 years, she has been leading successful campaigns with UN WOMEN; providing a spotlight in sexual harassment, femicide and violence against women.

Mariana Tuisis responsible for the development of new business as well as strategic planning for Hill+Knowlton Mexico. With more than 12 years of experience in media and PR, she has a proven reputation in integrated communications, coordinating international teams through Latin America and Europe. She currently is responsible of the Health & Wellness Practice working for clients such as Bayer, Amgen, AstraZenca and UN Women Mexico.