Category B12. Content-led Engagement & Marketing
Additional Company MILLENNIUM Aylesbury, UNITED KINGDOM
Name Company Position
James Nester Weber Shandwick Executive Creative Director
Luke Walker Weber Shandwick Creative Director
Brigitta Szaszfai Weber Shandwick Producer
Jason Noraika Weber Shandwick Head of Design
Laetitia Laporte Weber Shandwick Senior Manager, Client Experience
Rob Chan Weber Shandwick Senior Content Producer
David Ranson Weber Shandwick Video Content Producer
Brian Tjugum Weber Shandwick Managing Director

Why is this work relevant for PR?

The Most Human Instinct earned huge attention. With zero spent on paid media, this extraodinary social experiment quickly became UNICEF’s most successful Instagram video of all time, with over 12 million views across social channels. Most critically, it resulted in important action. Over 150,000 petition signatures were delivered to global decision makers at the World Health Assembly. Governments since agreed to invest in a series of critical programs for mums and babies that could help save the lives of newborns around the world.


We are failing the world’s youngest citizens. Although the world has made dramatic progress in reducing global rates of under-five child mortality, newborn deaths have declined at a slower pace. A child’s birth and the 28 days that follow are the most dangerous period of their life. Almost half of all under-five children who died in 2016 were newborns. These deaths are completely unnecessary. More than 80 per cent of all newborn deaths are caused by three preventable and treatable conditions: complications due to prematurity or during delivery, and infections like sepsis, meningitis and pneumonia. But treatment and interventions are not reaching the mothers and children who need them most - the families who live in the most disadvantaged areas, enduring the harshest conditions. UNICEF needed health ministers at the World Health Assembly to increase investment in quality healthcare for every mother and baby.

Describe the creative idea

Protecting babies is the most basic human instinct. So why aren’t we stopping to help the 7,000 newborns who die every day? We'd raise this question with an extraordinary social experiment. A newborn baby was seemingly alone and abandoned on the streets of Geneva, where world leaders were gathering for the World Health Assembly. Would people stop to help, if a vulnerable newborn was right in front of them?

Describe the strategy

We needed to reach global decision makers attending the World Health Assembly and the public at large, to move the issue of infant mortality the agenda. To do that, we would stage a shareable social experiment at the very place they were gathering – the streets of Geneva. The experiment would need to be provocative and highly emotional to properly engage viewers on social channels to sign an online petition which would be delivered to decision makers at the Assembly. This petition would call upon world leaders to invest in quality healthcare for every mother and child, through a series of important programmes and initiatives around the world.

Describe the execution

Partnering with a robotics company and multi-award-winning special effects artists, we developed a hyper-realistic animatronic newborn which looked, moved and cried just like a real newborn. Crew and the technicians who controlled the animatronic were out of shot, while we captured the public's response. Next to our baby was a message 'why aren't we stopping to help the 7000 newborns who die every day?' with a petition to sign that called upon world leaders to invest in quality healthcare for every mother and child, through a series of important programmes around the world. The Most Human Instinct social experiment took place during the World Health Assembly (21st – 26th May 2018) and aired on UNICEF’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels. The film pointed viewers towards an online petition, where members of the public could call on world leaders to provide affordable, quality health care for every mother and newborn.

List the results

The Most Human Instinct quickly became the most viewed and liked UNICEF Instagram post of all time and the first one to achieve over 100K likes. With £zero spent on paid media, the film received over 2.2 million views on Instagram with more than 200,000 likes - and over 8.8 million on Facebook (90% organic), with more than 700,000 reactions. The Facebook video link had the highest conversion rate 67% of people who landed on the #EveryChildAlive microsite went on to sign the petition. 150,000 signatures of the petition were delivered to global decision makers at the World Health Assembly. Since then, governments have agrees to invest in life-saving programs for mums and babies.