Q&A: The Woman Behind The Sexual Consent Campaign Picked For Cannes’ Lion For Change

Q&A: The Woman Behind The Sexual Consent Campaign Picked For Cannes’ Lion For Change
SHARE
THIS



Australian sexual consent campaign, 50 Shades of No, has been shortlisted for the Glass Lion: The Lion for Change.

It’s the only Australian campaign on the list and is one of 27 global campaigns nominated for this prestigious award.

The Glass Lion is the Lion for Change; an award that recognises work that challenges gender bias and shatters stereotypical images of men and women in marketing messages.

50 Shades of No is the product of a group of Melbourne women, and agency, The Otto Empire.

Check out a behind-the-scenes of the campaign here:

To find out more about the initiative, B&T sat down with the executive producer of 50 Shades of No and Otto Empire founder Jo de Fina.

What was your inspiration for 50 Shades?

The idea came about as a response to the Aziz Ansari scandal, and after considering how we would respond to the International Women’s Day call out to #pressforprogress.

In January an article was published with the account of a girl named Grace who had had the ‘worst night of her life’ during a date with US comedian Aziz Ansari. It opened up a huge debate about consent and what it looks like.

We realised that consent has a lot of grey areas and wanted to start a conversation about the spaces in between the black and white of consent; it’s not as straightforward as no means no.

50

How was the idea put into action?

We put a Facebook post out asking women to share occasions when they had tried to say stop or slow down a sexual encounter without using the words.

We received hundreds of statements from women from around the world.

We then took 50 of those statements and created T-shirts which were made available for sale on an e-commerce site. And we asked 50 influencers to wear and post a pic on International Women’s Day.

Our aim was to start a conversation about consent, and in particular, enthusiastic consent.

How’s it going?

The response has been incredible.

Not only have we started a conversation about consent, but we have had contact with other countries and organisations wanting to replicate the idea in their own region.

We’re also in conversations with universities and various festivals and support groups about consent education and how to change the conversation.

Ultimately we would love to see legislation changed as to what constitutes consent.

The Saxon Mullins case in NSW highlights the need for this clear understanding of what consent is. It’s not just hearing someone say ‘No’. There are many ways we communicate, and this campaign is about those subtleties of that communication.

What has been the benefit of using such a diverse group of women to demonstrate the issue?

We’ve reached a very broad audience.

This issue about enthusiastic consent affects everyone; men and women. Women want to be heard and men have been very open to being educated and enlightened as to how we communicate. It’s been educational for everyone.

How have you used social media to generate attention?

The entire campaign was driven by social media.

We’ve used Instagram and Facebook to drive the entire campaign. Recruiting influencers, and having everyone tag and share.

What have been the ripple effects?

Probably the biggest one is the cathartic and healing effect it seems to have had on people who have experienced sexual assault. Buying and wearing a t-shirt has helped them to heal their own personal experiences, and to communicate both online, and offline, with those around them.

And the realisation that it is more than one day, International Women’s Day. The campaign has a life of its own now and education and working with universities and schools is now our focus for stage 2.

As well as the global reach.

What do you make of the Cannes nom?

To be the only Australian work shortlisted for a Glass Lion is amazing. Especially when we look at the company we’re in.

We’re a small group of individuals from Melbourne who set out to create a campaign that would start a conversation. We’re in the company of Nike, Coca-Cola, Dove, global agency groups. It’s pretty humbling.

502

How can an event like Cannes help generate attention to this issue?

The platform and audience in Cannes is huge, and I intend to use the 20 minutes I have in front of the Jury and delegates, to further callout for support, conversation, and awareness.

This is about a conversation and we’re already in discussions with other countries about running their own campaigns. Cannes is a great platform to drive further conversation.

We’re in the business of communication and I have a week to communicate with a huge melting pot of people from advertising throughout the world.

In an industry driven by consumption, to be able to use creativity to affect change is so rewarding.

How intertwined is this issue and the advertising industry in Australia and worldwide?

I wouldn’t say the consent conversation is exclusive to any particular industry.

It’s about education and how we raise and condition boys and girls. How we represent relationships in the media and conditioning of both sexes from birth.

That’s something well outside of any workplace or industry.

What is still the biggest hurdle for 50 Shades, and the industry more generally?

I think our industry is making great strides in recognising talent of all genders and minorities.

501

I know there are the naysayers about quotas and this whole female push, but it will only be temporary until there is a balance and this ingrained unconscious bias starts dissolving away.

Everyone needs to be recognised for their talents, regardless of gender.

For so long, women’s gender was clouding any recognition they may have received. Now that is slowly falling away, which is progress.

And progress is great.

We started 50 Shades of No in response to the International Women’s Day #pressforprogress, and I think we’re slowly getting somewhere.

Please login with linkedin to comment

50 shades of no Cannes Lions Jo de Fina

Latest News

Clemenger BBDO’s ‘Exceptions To The Rule’ Recruitment Program Now Open
  • Advertising

Clemenger BBDO’s ‘Exceptions To The Rule’ Recruitment Program Now Open

The annual search for Australia’s best and brightest talent has launched today through Clemenger BBDO’s ‘Exceptions to the Rule’ program, with applications open for placements across Clemenger BBDO Melbourne and Sydney. ‘Exceptions to the Rule’ is a commitment to the agency’s belief that the future leaders of the creative industry aren’t solely coming through traditional […]

The Six Types Of Meetings People Despise
  • Media

The Six Types Of Meetings People Despise

Donna McGeorge (pictured below) is a speaker, author and mentor who helps people make their work work. She is also author of The 25-Minute Meeting: Half the Time, Double the Impact. In this guest post, McGeorge says most of us despise the office meeting and here’s the six worst types… I once heard a very senior leader […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Mango Melbourne Announces Three New PR & Event Hires
  • Marketing

Mango Melbourne Announces Three New PR & Event Hires

Mango Melbourne, part of the DDB Group, has welcomed three new team members following recent business growth. Carol Laws (right in photo), Janette Henstridge (left) and Maddie Poulson (middle) bring with them experience across PR and events, in sectors including consumer, retail, telecommunications and fashion. An account director with previous roles at Kate & Co […]

Why Curiosity Matters In Leadership
  • Opinion

Why Curiosity Matters In Leadership

Corrine Armour (pictured below) is a leadership expert who helps leaders and organisations develop fearless leadership and deliver transformational results. Armour is also the author of Leaders Who Ask: Building Fearless Cultures by telling less and asking more. In this guest post, she asks are you a genuinely curious leader or just a judgemental one? Curiosity creates […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Businesswoman hand connecting jigsaw puzzle, Business solutions, success and strategy concept
  • Media

Tealium Partners With The Lumery

Tealium, the leader in real-time customer data orchestration solutions, and The Lumery, a full-service customer experience agency, have partnered to bring to life the vision of a full MarTech ecosystem for Vocus Communications. Vocus recognised a huge opportunity for growth through the digitisation of their consumer brands. As such, Vocus has begun the process of […]

McCann Names New MD For Melbourne
  • Advertising

McCann Names New MD For Melbourne

McCann's new Melbourne MD is promising sweeping changes. Well, at the very least delicate carpet shampoo changes.