Don't Panic and Stink FIlms brings together its global roster to create an urgent message of solidarity
International charity WaterAid has worked with independent creative agency Don’t Panic to launch its new ‘Bring water’ campaign, highlighting the need for everyone everywhere to have clean water, especially during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
When a community gets clean water for the first time, it’s the start of something truly life-changing. Staggeringly, one in ten people are denied access to clean water and one in four people don’t have a decent toilet of their own. Without these basic human rights, overcoming poverty is just a dream, as is good health and combating a deadly virus like Covid-19.
Since being formed nearly 40 years ago, international charity WaterAid has helped to bring clean water to over 27 million people, transforming their lives forever. This year has been a tough year for everyone on the planet, but it’s also brought into focus how essential clean water is, not only for drinking, but for hygiene and sanitation. Water is key in our battle to defeat Covid-19. But not only do millions of people have nowhere to wash their hands with soap and water at home, two in five healthcare centres globally have nowhere for people to wash their hands.
Johnty Gray, mass engagement director, WaterAid said: “The rainbow has become a powerful symbol of hope and unity during the Covid-19 outbreak, highlighting how we are all facing this crisis together and therefore a global effort is required to tackle it. Yet we are not all equally equipped to fight the pandemic. Globally, one in four health centres have no clean water, putting health workers and their patients at increased risk of infection. Through our campaign, we are sharing the message that getting clean water to everyone everywhere is key to fighting the spread of disease – you need water to get a rainbow.”
The rainbow is now a sign of solidarity and belief that began in our schools, and that now adorns our streets, filling the windows of our homes and the temporarily closed windows of restaurants and businesses across the planet. In the campaign film - ‘You Can’t Have a Rainbow Without Water’ - real rainbows are documented across the globe. From London, to Berlin, to New York, Amsterdam, Milan, Rome, Prague, LA and Adelaide. The wider campaign also includes rainbow contributions from ; Sir Quentin Blake, Joanna Lumley, David Shrigley, Ellie Simmonds and Tobias Menzies.
A challenge even in normal times, Stink Films were able to use their global reach and ask directors and photographers across the world to go out (safely) and capture the rainbows that filled their streets. No direction was given to how they captured their shots or to the camera that they used; resulting in a delightful aesthetic as each rainbow is shot in a unique way. Running parallel to this, Don’t Panic worked with WaterAid’s ‘voices from the field’ teams in Ethiopia. A local artist visited each of the centres where the charity had just installed clean running water, and painted rainbows of hope on their walls. Local filmmakers were then commissioned to capture the scenes.
“What we felt we all wanted, was to see beyond the same four walls that have become our morning, day and night. To see the world again. So by partnering with Stink, we were able to shoot in several cities around the world on the same day. The good news is, the world is covered with hope. It's in our living room windows, hanging from our balconies and plastered on our walls. We wanted to 'bottle' that hope in our spot, and spread it further to those who needed it most." said Rick Dodds, creative partner, Don’t Panic.
Shot in less than a week by a collection of Stink Films directors, the 60’ spot captures rainbows and people throughout the world, in multiple locations (Moscow, London, LA, New York, Berlin, Paris, Milan, Florence, Shanghai, Tokyo, Argentina, Chicago and Johannesburg) on an array of recording devices; DV, phones, Reds and 5D’sand then patiently pieced together by Stitch editor, Paul O’Reilly to capture the hope that exists globally during this difficult time.
Katie Lambert, EP, Stink Films said: “This film was challenging as we had to capture a lot of rainbows, across multiple locations, in only four days. It was intense and wouldn’t have been possible without the help of all of Stink’s offices around the world; it’s only due to our fantastic producers that we were able to pull this off and the very talented directors and photographers who are friends of Stink. On a personal note, it was lovely to receive all of these unique perspectives from people across the world. I am very thankful to everyone who was involved.”
This is the first piece of creative from Don’t Panic for WaterAid after winning the business at the beginning of January. The work is part of a three to five year campaign the agency is devising, alongside media agency The Kite Factory, to elevate the experience of supporting WaterAid. They’re adopting a new creative approach and engagement strategy that optimises talkability, shareability and ultimately, consideration to support.
Joe Wade, founding partner, Don’t Panic said: “Wateraid, Stink and ourselves were united in the belief that no-one needs to see yet another advert with slow tracking shots of empty streets - or anything to do with Zoom! Having banned some of the obvious tropes of our times, and having access to WaterAid’s wonderful footage from the field, we were freed and able to create a film that’s upbeat and vibes but still manages to have emotional resonance. From the beginning the creative team wanted to use LCD Soundsystem ‘Oh Baby’; it has a pace and energy that would compliment and bring the film together. As luck would have it, the band united behind the cause and gave permission for the track to be used.”
In a bid to share the importance of WaterAid’s work amidst the global pandemic the film will be launched on TV through contextually relevant and premium programming. The campaign, planned and booked by The Kite Factory, will run from 19th May for six weeks. 60" TV ad spots will be complimented by a social campaign that seeks to create mass engagement through shares, likes and comments. The campaign extends beyond the traditional charity audiences across both TV and Paid Social to aid in WaterAid’s mission of making a wide UK audience aware of the significance of having access to clean water in these testing times.