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Break Bread Smash Stigma

basics
Industry: Beauty & Health
Media:Promotion & Event
Style: Minimalism
descriptioncnen
Synopsis
As one of the largest purpose-built HIV/AIDS hospitals in the world, Casey House’s social mission is to fight HIV stigma. Today, there are more people in Ontario, Canada, living with HIV/AIDS than there were during the height of the AIDS crisis in the 80’s. HIV stigma persists despite 30 years of public awareness, and education campaigns by A-list celebrities, including Madonna and Bono. Back then it verged on hysteria; now it's simply gone underground. Why? The public have never accepted that this is a disease that requires compassion instead of blame. When someone reveals they are HIV positive, a series of mental questions arises. How did they let this happen? Did they engage in risky sexual behaviour? Are they a drug user? The instinct is still to blame the victim. Blame drives stigma and shame and compels HIV-positive people to keep their diagnosis a secret.
Strategy
The best insights are founded in research, so we conducted proprietary pro-bono research for Casey House to prove our hypothesized insight with a Leger poll of 1,500 Canadians that showed: 1. 70% of Canadians would be nervous or ashamed to share an HIV+ diagnosis openly 2. 50% of Canadians wouldn't knowingly accept food prepared by someone HIV+ 3. 37% of Canadians wouldn't share food with an HIV+ person 4. 19% of Canadians feel HIV+ people are to blame for contracting the disease Canada is one of the most progressive countries in the world, yet 50% of our population would turn their backs on a meal served by someone they knew to be HIV positive. This solidified our strategy to use food as an explosive catalyst for exposing HIV stigma. It also provided the media with an explosive headline about tolerance and understanding in a country known for its progressive values.
Relevancy
Since breaking bread together breaks down barriers between people, we created the Break Bread, Smash Stigma (#SmashStigma) campaign and the world's first HIV+ restaurant, June’s Eatery, in honour of Casey House founder, June Callwood. 14 HIV+ chefs would show they had nothing to be ashamed of, and prove to patrons they, too, had nothing to fear. Beyond the 300 restaurant patrons, the activation was designed to generate as much one-on-one activity in social as possible. By exposing stigma, we could utilize a 24/7 team of community moderators and physicians to directly interact with those who were uneducated about HIV/AIDS.
Outcome
The campaign sparked a global conversation earning 926 million media impressions with 515 stories, 150 from major news outlets globally. We secured feature, in-depth coverage that included interviews with Casey House spokespeople, and our 14 HIV+ cooks in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NBC, BBC, Fox, CTV, Global, CBC, Huffington Post, Reuters, Canadian Press, NPR and People Magazine. Tickets sold out generating $20,000 for Casey House. The attention it received attracted $100,000 in corporate donations. Our social media engagement campaign quickly gained over a million impressions on Facebook, and 900,000 impressions on Twitter with 70,000 engagements – leading to 730,000 Canadians educated directly on social media. Out of 12,000+ comments, we inspired 27% of the audience to become advocates for the cause by responding to negative comments. This means for every two negative comments, there was one advocate jumping in to defend and smash the stigma that continues to this day.
Execution
We created June's Eatery and the Break Bread, Smash Stigma (#SmashStigma) campaign in honour of Casey House founder, June Callwood. This would be the world's first HIV+ restaurant, staffed by 14 HIV+ chefs. To raise the profile of the activation, we collaborated with Canadian celebrity chef, Matt Basile, to train the volunteers-turned-cooks. It also allowed us to engage 65,000 of his followers to help publicize June’s. Since Casey House had a tiny media budget, this activation was primarily a PR and social media play. Every component was engineered to drive as many impressions as possible. Our media invite was designed to evoke an immediate and visceral response: a jar of soup prepared by HIV+ chefs adorned with provocative phrases like “Swallow your prejudice” and “Fight HIV stigma with every bite.” It proved effective: over 100 media RSVP’d for the first night of the activation alone.
CampaignDescription
To create forward momentum for Casey House, and drive perceptional and behavioural change around HIV, we needed to spark conversations about the disease and expose stigma. We hypothesized that there would be certain hot-button issues for people who are ignorant about HIV transmission—first among them was food. In spite of the fact that it’s impossible to transmit HIV through food preparation, we believed that many people would be uncomfortable with the idea of an HIV-positive chef preparing their meal. After an extensive online search, we could not find a single HIV-positive chef who went public with their diagnosis—probably for fear of losing their job. What if we opened a restaurant where every chef was HIV positive? This would generate conversation and help us educate the masses.
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awards
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Shortlist Direct
Channels > Use of Ambient Media: Large Scale
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Shortlist PR
Social Community Building & Management
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Shortlist PR
Use of Events & Stunts
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