McCann Podgorica and McCann Beograd joined forces with the NGO Women's Rights Center and shook the public in Montenegro and the region
It’s not often you see a campaign cause enormous interest in the media, sets the social networks on fire, stirs a public debate and sparks dialogue between the state and Ngo sector, and all that almost within a single day. This was the case with the campaign #Unwanted which crossed the borders of Montenegro and launched a debate in the region about the abuses of prenatal tests. To point to a problem that has lasting consequences on a demographic picture of a society, the NGO Women’s Rights Center, together with the McCann Podgorica, and with the support of McCann Beograd team, initiated a campaign to launch a petition to make legal changes that would prevent the abuse of prenatal tests whose consequences are selective abortions. The undeniable statistics, which shows that not only in Montenegro but also in other countries of the region each year more boys are born than girls, and which is the result of selective abortions, was a challenge for creative to design a serious and educational campaign that would at the same time raise awareness about this problem through the story of the #Unwanted.
“I must admit it was much easier to work on a campaign that deals with such a big and sad topic than to talk about it. This is a campaign that is full of emotions and it is almost impossible to remain indifferent to it. We were shook by the fact that for a part of our society, girls are not as desirable offspring as boys. This indicates that the act of selective abortion itself is, in fact, an awful consequence of this discrimination against female child. So this is not just a campaign that aims to put an end to selective abortions, but to change the whole system of values that nurture the inequality between the sexes,” said Sandra Vujović, Creative Lead and Client Service at McCann Podgorica.
Already the first day, with the appearance of obituaries with a reflection of the Unwanted girl in newspapers and public places, stirred a storm of emotions, avalanche of comments and a massive public reaction. In just a few hours, the Unwanted became the main topic not only in Montenegro but also in the entire region. The campaign was supported by the most important Montenegrin media, and soon the world media started reporting on this issue. Image of the #Unwanted instantly found its way into social networks, where it was shared in thousands of Facebook and Instagram posts, as well as Tweets. Through serious debates, sharing of content, and personal testimonies, people expressed the desire to take part in the campaign. A striking farewell from the bad value system was organized – the system that builds differences between children, with a symbolic erecting of a memorial to the #Unwanted, in one of the public parks of Podgorica.
“We are most delighted with the fact that Montenegrin citizens have become aware of the magnitude of this problem, and now they are constantly talking about it, and their support to the campaign is gaining in strength, as they express it in a variety of ways,” Sandra Vujović underlined.
In just a few hours, the #Unwanted became a campaign of all citizens who want to change a bad value system and make society better. The support came from the Montenegrin Government, the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, the Ministry of Health as well as the European Union Delegation in Montenegro, the Women’s Handball Club Budućnost, and a slew of public figures who recognized the importance of the campaign for the entire society.
In less than 48 hours, over ten thousand inhabitants of Montenegro and the region placed the frame with a message “You are #WANTED to me” on their Facebook profile pics.
The NGO Women’s Rights Center emphasized that this initiative does not call into question the guaranteed reproductive rights of women, such as the right to terminate pregnancy, but has been designed to initiate social dialogue and change the patriarchal system of values that prefers “male successors”, because of which our girls are not as desired as boys. It is about deeply rooted discrimination that begins even before birth, and is manifested through the unequal position of girls and women in all areas of life.
“I deeply believe in the power of our industry to put its knowledge and influence in the service of solving real problems. I think our reactive action has done the right thing. This social problem is inherent to many countries. We believe in the potential of this story and believe in its magnetic power to drive the changes and mobilize society to talk and act. As a special success, I consider the fact that a small, local campaign, with its specific approach to a universal theme such as the inequality among sexes, has found its way to world’s leading media. Our goal is certainly a qualitative change, which takes time and support of citizens, organizations and institutions. Education is key here and all of our activities will be oriented in that direction in the future,” said Jana Savić Rastovac, Creative Director at McCann Beograd.
Campaign #Unwanted will last a long time and the next phase of the campaign will be realized in the near future. It is most encouraging to know that the public has become aware of the magnitude of this problem, which is evidenced by the growing support for the campaign day by day.
We also invite you to show your support and make the #Unwanted #Wanted, by using the Facebook frame You are #WANTED to me.