The challenge: Create a thought-provoking campaign about sexual consent that grabs young people’s attention and gets shared across Canada. In six weeks. With a slim budget.
While many would balk at such a proposition, public relations firm Edelman took it on. They created the award-winning Get Consent campaign for the Canadian Women’s Foundation and surpassed all expectations.
“It was an opportunity to help shape awareness about consent and challenge people’s thinking,” says Erin Jacobson, Vice-President, Digital Public Affairs at Edelman in Toronto.
The Foundation launched the campaign after conducting a survey that found only one in three Canadians understand sexual consent must be both positive and ongoing.
The Get Consent video uses a light-hearted approach to show that failing to get consent in everyday situations can lead to disaster.In one scene, a man at a hairdresser says “Yes” to a trim, but ends up with a horrible hairstyle. In another, a woman at a restaurant says yes to gravy, only to have her plate completely flooded. The message: “No one should get more than they asked for.”
The campaign included the video, a radio spot, digital advertising, a web page, and a full media strategy. “When an issue is this important, it’s amazing how many people will jump on board to make it happen,” Jacobson says.
When Get Consent launched, people listened. The campaign resulted in 24 media mentions, which added up to more than 22 million impressions. The video drew more than 1.6 million totalviews in only four weeks, becoming the Foundation’s most-watched video. The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance shared the campaign, which helped get the message to the target audience. To top it all off, the campaign won awards at Canadian Public Relations Society’s ACE awards and the International Association of Business Communicators OVATION awards.
But, most importantly, the campaign created awareness about consent. On social media, when the inevitable trolls claimed consent doesn’t matter, supporters of the campaign would speak up and move the discussion forward. “It was wonderful to see these conversations happening,” Jacobson says.
To learn more and share the Get Consent video, go to www.getconsent.ca.
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