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High Five: Poland

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CCO at VMLY&R Poland, Dawid Szczepaniak, reflects on a year of bold work for the country including projects for YES!, Slowhop, Tyskie and more

High Five: Poland

The last few years have not been the greatest time in the history of Poland. Our country, as many others around the world, has witnessed an increase of homophobic, racist, nationalistic or misogynous attitudes and behaviours. It is all fuelled by extremely conservative Polish politicians and media who spread fear towards anyone perceived as an 'outsider' - migrants, the LGBTQ community and so on. That’s why my selection will focus on brands and campaigns that were bold enough to take a stand against the sad reality of 2021 in Poland...



YES! - 'I Am a Woman'

Agency: 180heartbeats + Jung v. Matt
Production: F25
Music: MassiveMusic Warsaw

When the key politicians of the ruling right wing camp in Poland do their best to promote an obsolete, patriarchal image of woman, YES! jewellery launched a beautiful manifest celebrating all possible faces of womanhood. The national right wing TV refused to air it, which created ever-stronger potential for buzz.



Slowhop - 'The Polish Hospitality'

Agency: FEEDERS


When you follow this link, you will end up on a landing page full of Polish text...but the images will tell you everything. There is a huge migrant crisis rapidly increasing on the Polish-Belarusian border, the Eastern border of the EU. Thousands of migrants from the Middle East are trapped in camps in-between the Polish and Belarusian forces, each trying to push them to the other side. As the winter approaches, dozens of migrants have already died, including infants and pregnant women. The Polish government refuses to let them in. The Slowhop website, a Polish equivalent of Airbnb, decided to remind our society about its legendary Polish hospitality. It opened a virtual home for migrants that everyone can rent. Of course, all income from such virtual rental is given to NGOs operating on the border and trying to save as many migrants as possible.



BNP Paribas - 'Schools for Equality'

Agency: VMLY&R Poland
Production: ShootMe Visual Productions

BNP Paribas (together with gazeta.pl and Mastercard) won a Cannes Lions Grand Prix in Glass back in 2019. 'Schools for Equality' may be even more important and impactful follow up of 'The Last Ever Issue'. This time, BNP Paribas spotted a shocking inequality in the Polish schooling system and decided to act.



Tyskie - 'There Is More That Unites Us'

Agency: Huta 19 im. Joachima Fersengelda


A polarisation of our society is unfortunately a growing problem here in Poland. Authors of this fantastic publishing piece bought the media space in two opposing media outlets (from the left and right side of the political scene). The final message of this ad is revealed only when the reader puts the two magazines next to each other.



Voces Gaudi - 'As We Still Live'

Agency: Cross-agency
Production: Warsaw Witches Production

Just a year ago, the Polish president himself claimed that "LGBT are not human” and called LGBT “ideology worse than communism”. Our president (and his sort-of-politicians) attempt to prove that LGBTQ+ community is against the Polish culture, tradition and mentality. It is dangerously close to refusing a rainbow community a right to call itself Polish. On National Independence Day 2021, a group of activists consisting of employees from several agencies took a stand against such view. They invited 'Voces Gaudi', the first Polish LGBTQ+ choir to sing the Polish anthem under a rainbow flag. This simple but meaningful act took Polish media by storm reminding everyone that LGBTQ+ communities has always be a part of the Polish society and has the same right to call themselves Polish as anyone else in our country.

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VMLY&R Poland, Wed, 15 Dec 2021 10:30:28 GMT