#Campaigns: When 16 days aren’t enough
To create awareness of the abuse of women and children on a scale that simply couldn’t be ignored, Diageo-owned Johnnie Walker took over Nelson Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg, placing 365 6″2 Bronze ‘Striding Man’ statues (one for each day of the year), standing in solidarity for this cause.
The #StrideForGood statues appeared the day before the end of the International 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, to mark the beginning of the rest of the year, calling on all South Africans to pledge to the cause and extend the fight from 16 days to 365 days (so every day). Supported on the day by NGOs POWA, Lifeline, Million Men March and Tswharanang Legal Advocacy, social media followers and the public were invited to pledge by signing their name on one of four extra statues for that purpose.
The idea was conceived by McCann Johannesburg, the Diageo agency for its Scotch and Gin portfolios. Says Fraser Lamb, McCann CEO, “Our mission is to help brands play a meaningful role in people’s lives and this was a surefire way to do it. An alcoholic brand should stand for the responsible drinking of their product; they should stand against abuse of any kind — and they did. We want an abuse-free society in South Africa and this was a way to draw attention to the cause in such epic proportions that it really hit home and made people think.”
The activation, along with a donation of R 1 000 000 to the NGOs concerned, is a first step in a rollout campaign with a series of follow-up initiatives coming from Johnnie Walker to help eradicate the causes of women and child abuse, and keep the cause top of mind all year round.