Cannes Lions 2019: How to use advertising tools to spread awareness on charity

David M Beasley, Corinne Fleischer and Sir John Hegarty speak on the topic: The Global Cinema Medium Inspired by Hunger

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jun 18, 2019 4:39 PM
The Global Cinema Medium Inspired by Hunger

On the second day of the 66th edition of Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, David M Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme; Corinne Fleischer, Country Director and Representative, World Food Programme in Syria; and Sir John Hegarty, Founder, The Garage Soho, spoke on the topic: The Global Cinema Medium Inspired by Hunger. The session was moderated by Terry Savage, former chairman of Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

Savage started the session talking about the cinema media. As a global organisation, the cinema media understands that in today’s world, you have to help others. “Let me be clear. These are commercial businesses but they are leading the way and showing other media organisations, their clients and their customers that you have to stand up for people. People who are not just unfortunate than you but are living with and sometimes dying of hunger.” 

Beasley said he had no idea that much suffering, starvation, war and conflict is out there. “I have always been a big fan of what the UN could be, but I wasn’t a fan of what the UN wasn’t doing.”

“I was doing a big show with Scott Pelley in CBS, which has a huge impact around the world. The show was about Yemen and how much starvation, deprivation and death was taking place. Scott, at the end of the programme, said governor you have got the greatest job in the world: saving millions of lives,” narrated Beasley. 

Beasley told Scott that he does have the greatest job on earth and that he will go to bed every night thinking about the children he saved and weeping about the kids he couldn’t save. 

 “I tod Scott that with money and expenses, we have to choose which children eat and don’t eat. Which children live and die. I asked, ‘How would you like that job, Scott?’… And Scott was shocked,” remembered Beasley.

“Sadly, we don’t have a choice. We have to do that job daily. It really makes you mad. Because with three trillion dollars of wealth today, not a single child on earth should go to bed hungry. Every five seconds, a child dies from hunger. While it may be the greatest job on earth, it is also the most difficult one,” he added. 

Talking about Syria, Fleischer said people there have lost everything. “They have lost family members, their home, their belongings and that’s why they depend on us to survive. People often ask me, what does a day look like for me in Syria? Well, most of my time goes in negotiating with the parties to allow us to go to different cultural areas. We are bringing in a lot of food in these areas, we like to use ships and trucks because that is cost-effective. When we are on the ground, our colleagues are considered as our families. We create friendships for life there. On an average, teams were away for four months. But these incidents make us strong and unbeatable.”

For Sir John Hegarty, the issue is how do we get the issues to stand out in a market place where billions are spent on global advertising?

“The question is how do we stand out in that place? How do we create space for those charities? You take the lessons that you have learnt in your advertising craft and you apply it to a charity. What a brand is trying to get you to do is to love them. That encourages sales. But with a charity, what it does is to create empathy, and you are going into someone's consciousness in a different way. But you have to still use the tools that advertising has taught you. Be surprising, don’t be like everybody else, be different, create something that is lasting and that people will remember. The key is to create empathy,” remarked Hegarty.

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