Client: ANAIS Association
Product: Domestic Violence Awareness
Title: Guilt Gifts Puppetry
Media: Online Film Series
Date Of Campaign: March 8, 2021 - June 15th, 2021
Background: According to a study by The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, 1 in 4 women in Romania has been through at least one episode of abuse at home. Domestic violence surged during the global pandemic, as abusers spent more time in uninterrupted contact with victims in a country that already had the most overcrowded households in the EU. And the ensuing economic crisis made things worse.Romanian abusers often use various types of guilt gifts to buy the victims' forgiveness so that the latter would not report the abuse to the authorities or relatives. ANAIS Association, the leading local NGO fighting against domestic abuse, needed to raise awareness about this dangerous phenomenon and secure funding to help more victims with legal and psychological counseling.Additional objectives were pressuring authorities to tackle the issue of recidivist abuse and generating a nationwide conversation inspiring women to never postpone reaching out for help.
Idea: We collected actual guilt gifts received by former victims of domestic violence and turned them into professional puppets manoeuvred by experienced puppeteers and voiced by famous Romanian actors who volunteered to give each toy a distinctive voice on stage. Choreographers, dancers, and projection mapping artists volunteered to bring the plays to life in a series of immersive plays entitled Guilt Gifts Puppetry that transported viewers in 8 real-life scenarios, each evoking various types of domestic violence, from emotional to physical, from sexual to financial. Thus, the actual guilt gifts became storytellers who told the cautionary tales of abuse, as witnessed first-hand by the very same toys in the real households they came from.
Results: The first play in the series launched on March 8th, International Women’s Day, on www.daruitdinvina.ro and invited Romanians to watch it in exchange for a small donation to ANAIS Association. The campaign quickly took over the headlines and we started to release a new episode every two weeks.Leading local pay-per-view streaming platform Streamerse.net offered to host all the eight plays with no hosting fee and reroute all the earnings from the online tickets towards the NGO.Leading mainstream channel Prima TV offered to cover the topic of each episode on primetime news, for free. The coverage prompted leading auction house A10 by Artmark to step in and help us auction the toys and raise further funding in a dedicated public auction on June 15th.The campaign generated a 790% increase in donations compared to the previous campaign, so ANAIS was able to extend its legal and psychological counseling services to help more victims.The pay-per-view mechanic was instrumental for the increase as the theatre plays registered 2.1 million views across all platforms.The Romanian Parliament passed a new law against recidivist abuse forcing sentenced abusers to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.But the most important result was starting a nationwide conversation in Romania about the pandemic of domestic violence with 9 million impressions in a country with a total population of just 19.2 million.All of the above, with no media budget.