THE UNKNOWN FACE

Short List
ClientHISTORIAL DE LA GRANDE GUERRE PÉRONNE
Category B01. Websites / Microsites
TitleTHE UNKNOWN FACE
Product/ServiceART INSTALLATION AND A WEBSITE
Entrant FF PARIS, FRANCE
Idea Creation FF PARIS, FRANCE
Production MERCI-MICHEL Paris, FRANCE
Credits
Name Company Position
Hervé François Historial de la Grande Guerre Directeur du musée l'Historial de la Grande Guerre
Nathalie Clin Historial de la Grande Guerre Responsable Service « Accueil des Publics » et « Médiateurs-Guides »
Fred & Farid Fred & Farid FF Founders / CEO
Olivier Lefebvre FF CEO - Partner
Etienne Renaux FF Creative Director
François Claux FF Art Director
Yann Rougeron FF Art Director
Camille Sainson FF Art Director
Emilien Point FF Art Director
Sonia Dos Santos FF Art Director
Julien Beuvry FF Art Director
Lucia Otero FF Assistant Art director
François Claux FF Copywriter
Yann Rougeron FF Copywriter
Camille Sainson FF Copywriter
Emilien Point FF Copywriter
Sonia Dos Santos FF Copywriter
Julien Beuvry FF Copywriter
Leslie Hatchwell FF Account
Caroline Tang FF Digital art director
Johanna Mangote FF Event art director
Jim Tran FF Head of production
Arthur Gaudrie FF Chief technical officer
Marie Séjournant FF Social media strategist

Background

The Historial of the Great War at Péronne in the Somme is the largest museum dedicated to the 1st World War in France. Its collections showcase the cultural, social and military dimension of this important and cruel chapter of History. In 2018, the Historial wanted to set up a major project around the theme of ‘Peace to fight’, 100 years after the signing of the Armistice, on November the 11th of 1918, against all current geopolitical tensions. At a time when extremism and nationalism are plaguing the whole world, the younger generations must never forget past mistakes so as not to reproduce them in the future.

Describe the strategy

Our goal was to create a project which would draw the attention of a disinterested younger generation and public opinion through a contextual and technological approach. To achieve this, we launched a call for contribution to collect as much data as possible from all over the world; Museums, collectors, individuals, world archives. In total, more than 19 countries have contributed to providing us with thousands of authentic portraits from the 1st WorldWar. For our campaign to become viral, we asked the French President to inaugurate the work the greatest influencers and specialists of History in France by his side. In parallel, we unveiled a dedicated digital device on which the public could discover the behind the scenes of the creation of this project, as well as a more educational part highlighting 40 authentic stories of men and women who have taken part in the great war and have atypical destinies.

Describe the execution

10 months were needed to give life to this colossal project combining technology and the duty of remembrance. To manage collecting more than 30.000 portraits, we were able to count on the help of museums, historians, collectors and archives from all around the world. The Unknown Face is the authentic result of our algorithm. We made sure that the portrait would not go under any retouching or post production altering phase, so as to crystallize its raw emotion like a real artwork. We met an unbelievable challenge, as it is difficult to link the Unknown Face to a specific nationality or local origin. The algorithm developed to create “The Unknown Face” allows the project to keep evolving, as new archives and portraits can be collected. The digital platform helped the general public discover how the project came to existence.

List the results

As soon as it was launched, the “Unknown Face” was met by praise from the global media and public opinion: a very wide media coverage with more than 120 national and international press covers. In total, we reached more than 700 million people. Thanks to the project’s success, visits of the museum rose by 47% in November 2018. 35% of their new public came from younger generations who spent 4 minutes on average watching the Unknown Face and its portraits. The most impressive reaction was the participation of French President E. Macron, who shared the project on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. But the most important result is the fact that the Unknown Face will now be part of the educational program for the younger generations and will appear in the history books of all high schools in France starting September 2019.