June 2016: Alphabet of Illiteracy Campaign Wins Cannes Lions Health 2016

Alphabet of Illiteracy Campaign Wins Grand Prix Prize

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Alphabet of Illiteracy Campaign Wins Grand Prix Prize

Alphabet of Illiteracy Campaign Wins Grand Prix Prize at Cannes Lions Health 2016

Cannes, 18.06.16

FCB Inferno, on behalf of Project Literacy, has been awarded the Lions Health and Wellness Grand Prix for its integrated campaign, ‘Alphabet of illiteracy’. 

Project Literacy was founded and convened by the world’s leading learning company, Pearson, to build significant advances against the global illiteracy crisis, which afflicts one in 10 people alive today. FCB Inferno was briefed to raise awareness of the severity and consequences of illiteracy, and position it as an urgent global issue. Using the building blocks of reading and writing the ‘Alphabet of Illiteracy’ is a body of evidence suggesting illiteracy is the root cause of almost every major problem humanity faces. The A- Z links illiteracy and 26 major problems all reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals, such as aids, female genital mutilation and drug abuse. The integrated campaign, which was seen across cinema, DM, print, online and social, led people to an online petition to global leaders to push illiteracy up the political agenda. Please view case study film via this link.

After the campaign launch Project Literacy was invited to sit on the UNESCO Global Alliance for Literacy, which aims to track progress and achievement across the literacy target of the 4th Sustainable Development Goal. Furthermore 50 organisations including charities and businesses were united by the campaign to tackle illiteracy including Doctors of the World, Lessons for Life and Action on Addiction.

In 2015 FCB Inferno was awarded 2 Gold Lions Health for ‘This Girl Can’, for Best Integrated Campaign and Best Film, four Silvers and the inaugural Glass Lions established to recognise “work that implicitly or explicitly addresses issues of gender inequality or prejudice, through the conscious representation of gender in advertising”. Lions Health, which is divided into two factions, Pharma and Health & Wellness, drew more than 2,500 entries in 2016 from leading healthcare organisations globally.
FCB Inferno CEO, Frazer Gibney says, “Illiteracy is at the root of the world's biggest issues. Project Literacy was established to put this problem at the top of the world’s social agenda, not least the United Nations. This is a deliberately provocative campaign designed to create the strong reaction needed. We are incredibly proud to be working with Project Literacy, witness the results and to now be recognised by the Cannes Lions judges”.

FCB Inferno CCO Owen Lee say “This is a great example of craft and insight coming together to make a real impact. By clashing the innocence of the ABC with some of worst problems facing humanity the campaign proved to be very powerful. These awards are a great honour and we thank Pearson for being such a bold partner”.
Emilie Colker, Vice President of Brand and Social Impact at Pearson, founding partner of Project Literacy, said: “This campaign has brought a largely invisible issue to the attention of millions. It was a bold and provocative campaign and with nearly 13 million views of the 'Alphabet of illiteracy' video, a reach of 462 million, and an increase in traffic of 200% to partner organisation websites, this is a movement we are so proud to be part of. We see this as the start of an ongoing campaign to raise awareness of illiteracy and its effects”.

Chief Creative Officer Owen Lee
Art Director Julia Ferrier
Copywriter Martin Mcallister
Account Director Tom Kingham
Account Manager Helena Georgiou
PR Agency Weber Shandwick

Production Company 1stAveMachine Designer Wilfrid Wood Director Red Knuckles via 1stAveMachine Producer Claire Plaskow Executive Producer Isabella Parish
FCB Inferno Producer Charlotte McConnell

Project Literacy
Project Literacy is a global campaign founded and convened by Pearson to make significant and sustainable advances in the fight against illiteracy so that all people - regardless of geography, language, race, class, or gender – have the opportunity to fulfill their potential through the power of words.
Official partners include: Worldreader, Room to Read, GOOD Magazine, Reading Partners, BookAid, BookTrust, 826National, Jumpstart, First Book, Raising A Reader, Reading is Fundamental, Reach out and Read, Asia Foundation, We Need Diverse Books, Microsoft, the National Literacy Trust, the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, UNESCO, Unreasonable Group, CENPEC, Results for Development, the Center for Knowledge Societies, War Child, Lessons for Life, Doctors of the World, World Literacy Foundation, 28 Too Many, WomanKind, The Big Issue, The Hunger Project, Nutrition and Education International, Veerni and DMG.

Learn more at ProjectLiteracy.com

Hashtag is #ProjectLiteracy /Instagram @ProjectLiteracy /Twitter @RewritingLives/Facebook @RewritingLives

Alphabet of Literacy
Evidence shows that illiteracy is a significant contributor to many of the world’s worst problems, such as radicalisation, poverty and gender inequality. Using the building blocks of reading and writing, the alphabet, FCB Inferno created the ‘Alphabet of Illiteracy’: 26 major issues, carefully researched to tie literacy to different global problems that could be in part overcome by greater literacy. For example, ‘A’ is for AIDS, because if you can’t read or write you are five times less likely to understand how people can contract HIV. ‘B’ is for Bloodshed, because the rate of violent crimes such as homicide and sexual assaults is almost double among the illiterate population. ‘C’ is for Child Brides, because if all women had the literacy skills required to complete primary education, child marriages would reduce by a sixth.

In a 90 second film, produced by 1stAveMachine London, the ‘Alphabet of Illiteracy’ is set to the catchy melody of the 1948 hit ‘A you’re Adorable’. Each letter is represented by a hand crafted sculpture by Wilfred Wood, known for his satirical work on Spitting Image. These sculptures have been animated by Red Knuckles, an agency that includes Gorrilaz and BBC as its clients. The film was seeded in the UK by The Village Communications across digital platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Unruly and Virool, targeting the millennial audience, with a focus on those who have a particular interest in social issues and those who are highly active and influential in social media.

A complementary social media strategy tells the story of each letter and highlights Project Literacy partners’ work, as well as experiences of those affected by illiteracy. This will launch across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr. Each letter has a dedicated Instagram account featuring content on each topic, allowing users to discover each letter of the ‘Alphabet of Illiteracy’ natively on the platform. Outreach will engage key social influencers that include people close to literacy and sustainable development and a number of high profile partners, who will add their voice to the campaign.

ProjectLiteracy.com houses the entire Alphabet of Illiteracy, here visitors can read an explanation behind each letter, learning about how Project Literacy partners are tackling each issue. The site encourages people to take action, which could include sharing the film, finding a volunteer opportunity, or signing a petition that asks for the UN to put literacy at the heart of every action to advance the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. On signing, users can create a GIF of their name in the ‘Alphabet of Illiteracy’ letters to be shared on social media.

Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology.
Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more visit www.pearson.com.

Some Key Stats on Illiteracy
Illiteracy is a truly global problem:
• No country has ever achieved continued economic growth without having first achieved an adult literacy rate above 40%.1
• Illiteracy costs the world $1.19 trillion a year.2 It costs a developed nation 2% of its GDP each year and an emerging economy 1.2% of GDP.
• 32 million adults in the United States can’t read.3 And one in four children grow up without learning how to read.4
• More than 70% of inmates in American prisons cannot read above fourth grade level (typically 9-10 years old).5
• 1 in 5 UK children leave primary school unable to read or write.6
• In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of illiterate adults has increased by 37% since 1990.7
• In India, 287 million people do not have basic reading skills.8

FCB Inferno
FCB Inferno is the London agency of global advertising network FCB. The network dates back to 1873, and now has 9000 employees in 90 countries, with 200 at FCB Inferno.
The agency is fully integrated, delivering all advertising services under one roof, such as TV, Digital, Social Media, Print, Outdoor, CRM and Retail.

FCB Inferno’s clients sit across industry sectors and currently include BMW, NIVEA, Microsoft and Oreo. In 2015 FCB Inferno was one of the most awarded UK agencies for the Sport England campaign ‘This Girl Can’, developed to encourage women and girls to be more active.
1 http://www.worldliteracyfoundation.org/why-literacy/
2 http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/news/4567_new_report_shows_illiteracy_costing_the_world_1_19_trillion
3 http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2007/2007064.pdf
4 http://www.begintoread.com/research/literacystatistics.html
5 http://www.begintoread.com/research/literacystatistics.html
6 http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/sites/default/documents/about-ofsted/speeches/Brighton%20College%20education%20conference%20speech%20-%20HMCI.pdf
7 http://www.uis.unesco.org/literacy/Documents/UIS-literacy-statistics-1990-2015-en.pdf
8 http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002256/225660e.pdf

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