Short List
Product/Service‘DA SE ZNA’ LGBT+NGO
Category G04. Social Behaviour & Cultural Insight
Media Placement UM Belgrade, SERBIA
Name Company Position
Jana Savic Rastovac McCann Beograd Executive Creative Director
Jovana Miloševic McCann Beograd Senior Copywriter
Lidija Milovanovic McCann Beograd Associate Creative Director
Sandra Milojevic McCann Beograd Senior Graphic Designer
Andrea Mitic McCann Beograd Account Manager
Emina Azizi McCann Beograd Regional Account Director
Tamara Vukadin McCann Beograd Account Manager
Aleksandar Milojevic McCann Beograd Strategic Planner
Marija Vicic McCann Beograd Communication Director for Creative Excellence
Jelena Jazic McCann Beograd Managing Director
Luka Ličina Drive Beograd Digital Copywriter
Stefan Nikolic Drive Beograd Designer
Nikola Nikolic McCann Beograd Head Of Creative Services
Biljana Kolakovic UM Beograd Regional Managing Director
Ana Kovacevic UM Beograd Account Supervisor
Dubravka Perišic McCann Beograd Creative Traffic
Catalin Dobre McCann Worldgroup Romania Chief Creative Officer McCann Worldgroup Romania and Regional Creative Director McCann CEE

Why is this work relevant for Direct?

In Serbia, LGBT+ members face rejection by society and their families. Parents formalize this rejection by publishing classified ads in newspapers, in order to publicly disown their children. By using this deeply rooted custom and well-known media format we directly addressed traditional Serbia. Major local and national newspapers published classifieds, this time written by parents who supported their LGBT+ kids. In print, favorite media of traditional Serbia, we directly communicated message of acceptance. The campaign sensitized traditional Serbian parents in support of what is basic human right, because there is one thing every parent understands: the love for their child.


It is not easy to be LGBT+ in Serbia. Besides being discriminated and ashamed, LGBT+ people face rejection on almost every step: friends, employers, society. It is particularly hard in Serbia and small environments where cultural barriers are still present when it comes to LGBT+ acceptance, even inside of families. Tackle one of the toughest moments for LGBT+ population - coming out to parents, as they simply fear the rejection. Influence and sensitize the public towards understanding the position of LGBT people. Use parents as a specific group to voice out the issue of acceptance. Help people realize that family is the one place, LGBT+ people should get unconditional love and support from, once they come out.

Describe the creative idea (30% of vote)

In order to give voice to parents who supported their kids after declaring themselves as LGBT+, confront traditional society and awful practice of ‘disowning’ kids in classified ads, we hijacked this small but cruel media format, and used it as a tool to change the conversation. We published a series of real ‘I will never disown my child’ classifieds in national and local newspapers, allowing various families to support their kids for being honest about who they really are. The idea has turned the problem into a source of inspiration for acceptance. We wanted to start a change and we did it. With the classified ad!

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Through major national and local newspapers we reached not just wider public 18+ with liberal understandings in big cities, but most importantly, narrow minded public in small environments, where talking about LGBT+ topics is still taboo. Key channels were classified ads in 15 newspapers across Serbia. In order to support traditional media with the smallest possible budget, we went to digital and social channels too, attracting conversation, discussions and creating a call for social activism. Key portals and TV stations covered the news about the campaign and even did some interviews with the parents. Extremely popular influencers and stars supported ‘I (Dis)Own my child’ campaign, pro bono, each having over 200-300K followers per channel. The campaign had another wave of the public attention when Belgrade Pride took over the campaign headline and proudly presented it as the slogan of its parade and during the event itself.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

Da se zna!, NGO fighting for LGBT+ rights, partnered up with all main local and national newspapers and published a series of classified ads, written by parents and families who supported their LGBT+ kids. The form of the classifieds remained well-known, but the art direction was slightly altered (with rainbow frame) in order to make it stand out in traditional black-white format. During the campaign, more parents contacted Da se zna!, asking to join the campaign and publish their own classifieds. In addition to classifieds, we created and invited people to online platform, where they could ask for advice anonymously. Both, parents and psychologists have answered. Timeline: 15 airings in 15 newspapers, published in the period 22.06.-05.07.

List the results (30% of vote)

With the media budget of 308 euros total, we reached 1.5 million people in 3 days. Parents gathered and Serbian ’RAINBOW FAMILIES’ branch was established! As an organisation run by LGBT+ families, they act as a support network for parents and children, empowering LGBT+ families. ’I (Dis)Own’ became the moto of community, the theme of 6th Belgrade pride 2019. Major public figures and influencers supported the campaign by sharing the first classified ads published in 2 national newspapers, creating over 2.7 million impressions on digital. All media portals shared the news about brave parents who supported kids publicly. 4 major TV stations did reportages on the news and in one of the most popular TV show there was a huge debate on the topic. Regional news covered the story about the campaign too.

Please tell us about the social behaviour and / or cultural insights that inspired your campaign

In Serbia, LGBT+ people face discrimination and rejection on almost every step: society, friends, employers, even parents. Our idea used the local insight of parents disowning their children in newspapers, through personal classified ads. This practice is well known only in Serbia and deeply rooted in Serbian culture. Parents do this for various reasons, disobedience, disrespect and immoral behavior, especially LGBT + orientation. The insight inspired execution: this time parents are not disowning their children, but doing quite the opposite. Accepting their LGBT + children!