Against All Odds
In March 2016, our story researchers caught wind of an IOC initiative for the Rio Olympics. For the first time ever, a team of refugees would be competing at the Olympics. An inspiring initiative, not only was this a story that needed to be told, it was an opportunity to represent the global refugee population positively and change the way they are seen by the world. Without a client or a brief, we proactively set about seizing the opportunity.
Partnering with UNHCR, aligning with their #withrefugees petition and teaming up with Google and Grey London to give the film maximum reach, we set out to make a film unlike any other refugee film ever seen. The word refugee provokes feelings of negativity, fear or at best, sympathy. We wanted to inspire admiration instead of pity. Because to be a refugee is to have survived, to have endured, to have never given up.
On the day of the Rio Opening Ceremony, we launched the film worldwide on the Google Homepage. It was picked up by global news organisations including BBC, Guardian and the India Times. The film reached more than 4.5 million people when posted on UNHCR's social channels making it their top performing content of 2016 and the #withrefugees petition has garnered over 500,000 signatures.