THE HUMAN BILLBOARD

ClientLE CRAN
Category B08. Events & Stunts
TitleTHE HUMAN BILLBOARD
Product/ServiceANTI RACISM ORGANISATION
Entrant BLACKTOOL Paris, FRANCE
Idea Creation LEO BURNETT FRANCE Paris, FRANCE
Production BLACKTOOL Paris, FRANCE
Credits
Name Company Position
Kurt Novack Leo Burnett France Executive Creative Director
David Martin Angelus Leo Burnett France Creative Director
Mohamed Bareche Leo Burnett France Senior Art Director
Montassar Chlaika Leo Burnett Copywriter
Clement Bellanger Leo Burnett France Assistant Art Director
Julien Divialle Leo Burnett France Digital Art Director

The Campaign

The Human Billboard shows in a shocking way the indelible marks that racist comments leave on their victims. The CRAN asked on its social media platforms for people to share the racist insults that had left an emotional scar in their soul. We took those insults and tattooed them on the body of a black man who walked the streets of Paris the day after the presidential elections to to show France and the whole world the harmful marks that racism leaves on its victims.

Execution

The association gathered insults from victims through social media and even got France’s two most famous black journalists, Audrey Pulvar and Harry Roselmack to participate; as well as the victim from the highly publicized incident in which a man was pushed out of the subway by the Chelsea supporters during the Champion’s League. We then tattooed these insults onto the body of a black man. We launched the campaign with a teaser film, presenting The Human Billboard and announcing a rendezvous at Place de la République the day after the first vote of the elections. When the day arrived, the HUMAN BILLBOARD showed the French people his tattoos – each one an actual insult that was directed at a black person - while handing out flyers with the campaign message: racism leaves marks that are never forgotten. The flyers invited the French people to visit jeffaceleracisme.fr and make a donation.

In only a few hours, with ZERO media investment, one man walking through Place de la République – our Human Billboard – had already travelled around the world. With articles on over 150 international news sites spanning five continents, earning 3,7 billion media impressions, and creating more than 1.2 million reactions (shares, likes, and comments) on social media. The PR from the ad was so far-reaching, it even evoked an angry reaction from the Front National’s number 2, Florian Philippot, on Twitter. The most important thing, however, is that donations to CRAN increased 2000%, taking us one step closer to erasing racism.

The Situation

Racism is insidious. Because you can’t see it, or see its effects, it’s easy to forget that it’s there. In France the National Front have been banalizing racist rhetoric now for decades and their rising popularity has caused other parties to start pandering to this sentiment in France. This has been a blow for French fraternity. In the first round of the French presidential elections in 2017, the National Front came in second making racist rhetoric the norm. We wanted to get the country to react before the second and final election.

The Strategy

We knew that for our message to have a real impact, it had to be delivered at a moment of change in the country. That’s why we selected the day after the French primary election to launch the Human Billboard. So that people on both sides of the political spectrum would be forced to think hard about the effects of their vote on minorities when heading back to the polls, 15 days later for the final election.