THE VOICE OF CHANGE

Short List
ClientEUROPRIDE 2018
Category A07. Audio Content
TitleTHE VOICE OF CHANGE
Product/ServiceEUROPRIDE 2018
Entrant ÅKESTAM HOLST Stockholm, SWEDEN
Idea Creation ÅKESTAM HOLST Stockholm, SWEDEN
Production FLICKORNA LARSSON Stockholm, SWEDEN
Credits
Name Company Position
Stephanie Moradi Åkestam Holst NoA Copywriter
Eva Wallmark Åkestam Holst NoA Art Director
Michaela Winckler Åkestam Holst NoA Account Manager
Karl Wikström Åkestam Holst NoA Planner
Magnus Jakobsson Åkestam Holst NoA Creative Director
Daniel Kilgren Flickorna Larsson Producer
Karolina Kilgren Flickorna Larsson Producer
Olle Eronn Flickorna Larsson Producer

Why is this work relevant for Entertainment?

The Voice of Change is an innovative radio spot recorded over several months, following a transgender person’s journey from female to male. It's 40 seconds of pure unskippable content that literally gives voice to a marginalized group who rarely gets heard and at the same time demonstrated a brave journey that bridged time, geographical distances and gender barriers.

Background

Behind the glitter and festivity that characterizes a Pride Festival lies a dark history, forgotten by many. EuroPride 2018 wanted to remind people of how much there’s left to do, how far there’s left to go and what it is that they are actually fighting for - the human right to be who you are, no matter sexual orientation or gender identity. But the right to be who you are is not a right given to everyone. In over 60 countries in the world, correcting your gender identity is illegal. In other words, being who you are is considered a crime. So to raise awareness about transgender rights and invite people both within but also outside of the LGBTIQ community, we created The Voice of Change. A innovative radio ad recorded over seven months following a transgender person’s journey from female to male.

Describe the creative idea

The Voice of Change is an innovative radio spot recorded over seven months that follows a transgender person’s journey from female to male, just by the sound of his voice. Alex, the voice, receives testosterone shots as a part of his sex reassignment therapy. These hormones effects every aspect of his body, including the depth and tone of his voice. So for every shot of testosterone, Alex made a new voice recording. The recordings were then combined into one important message. By using audio as our primary medium, we literally gave voice to a marginalized group who rarely gets heard and at the same time demonstrated a brave journey that bridged time, geographical distances and gender barriers.

Describe the strategy

Our strategy was to create awareness for transgender rights by using a voice that challenged prejudices about gender and stereotypes. By using Alex voice - raw, honest and in transition - we were able to take listeners on a journey that demonstrated the struggles that comes with being born in the wrong gender and the importance of being able to be who you are. The Voice of Change gave an insight into a world not many are familiar with, and provided both a greater understanding but also an opportunity to take a stand. It was aired in Sweden during the last week of December of 2017, but was also spread in EuroPride 2018’s social media channels as a film documenting the project. The target audience was potential festival visitors, both within but also outside of the LGBTIQ community.

Describe the execution

The Voice of Change is innovative in many aspects, but especially in its execution. The project took over 7 months to finish, from initial contact with Alex in June of 2017 to the end of December when the radio spot was aired. For every shot of testosterone, Alex made a new voice recording. These recordings where then combined into one important message. It was also an innovative way to address transgender issues and give an insight into something that's hard to grasp and understand by many. The feeling of being born in the wrong gender, and the journey to becoming who you really are is something not everyone can relate to. By just using a voice - raw, honest and in transition - we took listeners on a journey that challenged both prejudices and a traditional media category, while at the same time provided an opportunity to take a stand.

Describe the outcome

The campaign took of instantly in Sweden, from Sweden¹s biggest LGBTQ magazine QX, to social news site Feber and tourist-promotion initiatives like Visit Stockholm. And it generated European and global attention, getting press in Huffington Post both globally and locally, and received praise from media outlets and NGOs like Diversity ACT, GGG in Austria, Ethical Marketing News. LGBTIQ influencers and Pride organizations shared ²The Voice of Change² on Twitter and other social media, amplifying our message and inviting more people to come to EuroPride 2018 Stockholm Gothenburg. We had raised our voice for transgender rights, and helped put EuroPride 2018 on the agenda.