“Repressing emotions, using aggression to gain respect or disrespecting women and girls to be considered ‘cool’, are just some of the rigid expectations men and boys are often socialised to demonstrate,” said director of marketing and communications at Our Watch, Siobhan McCann.
“In order to help young men challenge society’s rigid expectations of masculinity, Our Watch’s youth campaign, The Line, has launched ‘Never follow’ – a campaign that shows that there is no one way to be a man.”
Our Watch’s aim is to change in the culture, behaviours and power imbalances that lead to violence against women and their children.
Recognising that young men (in particular) don’t like being told what to think, The Line has adopted the look, feel and tone of a street wear brand to house the message within a ‘trojan’ sneaker ad – the type of advertising they genuinely seek out and interact with. The spot’s the work of independent agency Thinkerbell.
Integrated into the campaign is the opportunity for viewers to claim a free pair of the limited edition, campaign-exclusive Volley sneakers shown in the ad by answering a question about what ‘there’s no one way to be a man’ means to them.
Adam Ferrier of Thinkerbell said, “By using streetwear as a Trojan horse for a more meaningful message, the campaign circumvents resistance and instead prompts users to step forward and actively engage with the concept of what masculinity means to them.”
From the pressure to act tough and hide emotions to fit in, to the pressure to engage in activities that objectify women – the animation shows a hero character rejecting all of these traditional stereotypes of what it means to be man. Instead he walks his own path, as his own person.