We needed to shake Mexican society’s complacency about the dangers faced by journalists. And who would be more interested in that than the media themselves?
That’s why we first sent the video directly to key Mexican and international media, prominent journalists, and activists. Our strategy was to simultaneously spread the message across as many channels as possible, using the social media reach of journalists and media outlets. This way we could engage with and involve the public, and remind people to consider and discuss the problem again.
Investigating corruption and the drug trade has cost 130+ journalists their lives since 2007. Javier Valdez, murdered in 2017, was one of the most iconic ones.
Every journalist’s murder bring more silence. In some Mexican states, there are no voices left to speak up freely, giving the criminal organizations and corrupt officials the upper hand.
Propuesta Cívica, an NGO that provides legal support to the families of murdered journalists, looked for a way to promote their cause and let the journalists continue to speak up.
There’s no better way to protect the journalist’s lives than creating a culture of a proactive society, demanding access to proper information, and raising their voices; but never remaining asleep.
Therefore, we targeted Mexican and International media, intending to reignite the conversations around free speech and the protection of journalists, so we provided them with powerful video content that will undoubtedly shake complacency.
Describe the creative idea / insights (30% of vote)
The Mexican population in a state of denial:
After years of corrupt governments tolerating violence from organized crime, murders became normal.
Research-based on two-year tracked searches and social media conversations showed a huge drop of interest on related matters: Less than 3% on “murdered Journalists”, “freedom of expression”, amongst Mexican internet users.
THE ONLY JOURNALIST THAT CAN SPEAK UP WITHOUT FEAR IN MEXICO IS A DEAD ONE.
Using AI, we brought Javier Valdez, murdered in 2017, and his work back to life. Instead of becoming silent, Javier became the symbol of resistance, and even more — a face and voice behind whom his other colleagues could anonymously continue speaking up.
To inspire credibility and to achieve the involvement of our prominent journalists targeted, we crafted not only an identical image, but also successfully recreated his voice, by recording several voices of male members of Javier Valdez’s family.
Describe the strategy (20% of vote)
Can a murdered journalist refuse to be silenced? What if it only made their voice louder, while also helping protect their colleagues?
We analyzed the stakeholders’ responses to different pieces of communication. Testimonials are proven to be more effective because of their connection to a real person's story. That’s how we learned that no one would be better than murdered journalist to become our influencer. Among them, Javier Valdez was the most iconic, because of the depth of the investigations he did, and the relevance of the media he worked for.
We targeted prominent journalists, so they could be the first to simultaneously spread the message with a powerful call to action.
They try to silence us, but we’re #StillSpeakingUp
Describe the execution (20% of vote)
According to Mexican traditions, Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is when deceased relatives and friends revisit their families.
For the president, it wasn’t a relative neither a friend, but Javier Valdez - a journalist murdered for his investigations; who, thanks to AI, came back on this day in 2020 to demand justice for himself and his colleagues, and free speech for everyone.
The project ran in main Mexican and international news, including National TV, social media, and news websites, generating 349M impressions in less than 1 week.
This campaign is part of the #StillSpeakingUp platform created to use the identities of murdered journalists to protect the safety of the ones at risk today.
April 2019. Murdered journalists’ Twitter accounts revived
Feb 2020. The press conference w/ pilot video of revived Javier
Nov 2020. Day of the Dead: Javier addresses the president on National TV
List the results (30% of vote)
All 3 main news channels gave prime time to Javier’s video.
30 of Mexico’s most relevant journalists targeted gave prime time space to Javier’s video, and interviewed Javier’s widow and Propuesta Civica NGO directors about the initiative.
More than 100 international media outlets published Javier’s video.
Due to media pressure, trials were reactivated, leading to 6 murderers being convicted for crimes against journalists in Mexico, for the first time.
349 Million Organic Impressions on Twitter.
84% positive sentiment
5M USD Earned Media