Silver Agency of the Year: J. Walter Thompson Canada
Sexual assault on college campuses is an epidemic, with one in five female college students experiencing it in some form before they graduate. It’s a worsening problem, and troublingly, there seems to be a level of acceptance, or at the very least, indifference, within society.
White Ribbon was looking for a way to shine a light on the issue and to continue to drive men to view this behaviour as unacceptable.
When Brock Turner, a Stanford student, was found guilty of rape and given a six-month sentence, it seemed to symbolize the apathy and indifference surrounding the issue.
When Turner’s father, Dan, commented that his son’s punishment was “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action,” it incensed many on both sides of the border, including the team at White Ribbon. The comment gave the organization the inspiration and ammunition to mobilize a nation of potential role models to do their part in raising a more respectful generation of men. So it created the “#20MinutesOfAction4Change” campaign with the help of agency JWT.
On November 25, 2016, the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the team invited dads across the globe to take twenty minutes to speak with their sons about sexual consent, boundaries and respect for women.
They created a website hub, where dads could find tips on how to get the conversation started, learn more about the project and pledge to take 20 minutes to talk to their sons about this important issue.
White Ribbon took its “20 minutes” language and asked companies, organizations and the media to donate 20 minutes of time through their social feeds and ad space. The team created pre-packaged and used social, video, website takeovers and print, outlining the staggering statistics of sexual violence against women so participating entities could easily share it within their donated space. They created both 15 and 30-second spots that ran as pre-roll across participating media channels driving people to the site to take the pledge.
At 12pm EST on November 25, the team encouraged people to change their social media avatar and background images to #20MinutesOfAction4Change to help spread awareness.
More than 10,000 people joined the social conversation, spreading awareness and encouraging others to take the pledge using the hashtag #20MinutesOfAction4Change. White Ribbon hosted a Reddit AMA during which experts answered questions regarding how to educate boys about consent, sexual violence and boundaries.
A number of all-boys schools took the cause to heart, hosting 20-minute talks about sexual assault. And women’s groups came on board in a show of solidarity.
All kinds of dads – celebrity dads, professional athlete dads, prime minister dads, and everyday, in-the-parenting-trenches dads – responded.