The Webby for Good, produced in partnership with WP Engine, is a showcase of Webby-honored projects and campaigns that are promoting social good in the world.
Describe your project. What is it, what was the elevator pitch?
How can people understand the homeless if they've never experienced homelessness? We used 360-degree video to immerse our audience in the experience of spending their first night on the street.
What key challenges did you face with this project? And how did you overcome them?
No one wants to look at homelessness, but it has doubled in our city in the last 3 years. We needed to find a new way to engage to our audience—something that would actually make them want to look at the issue. We found the solution in 360-degree video, which enables you to actually see through the eyes of a homeless person.
What was the most rewarding aspect of working on your project?
The film was made with homeless people who have actually lived on the streets (some for over 20 years!). They gave their stories, their voices, and a few even appeared in the film itself. We then gave their stories national exposure, and it was pretty rewarding to help raise over $300,000 for the homeless shelter.
Why this particular cause as the subject of your project/campaign?
The number of homeless in Auckland has doubled in the last three years. This puts enormous strain on our biggest homeless shelter, The Auckland City Mission, whom we have supported for many years. It was crucial to the survival of the shelter that this campaign engaged our audience and generated donations.
When working on this project, what were some of the most important conversations you had with your team?
We spent an entire day in a recording studio with people who have lived on the streets. It was very challenging for them to open up in this environment, but once we heard their true thoughts and feelings, it changed our view of homelessness forever.
What did you learn from working on this project that you didn't know going into it? Did anything come out of it that surprised you, or that you weren't expecting?
In our minds, we put all homeless people under the same banner, but every homeless person's experience is unique. We met some people who enjoy the freedom of living rough. We met others who missed the close friendships and comraderie they experienced on the streets. We learned that homeless people are just as diverse as any other part of society, so now we will always look beyond the cardboard sign to the individual holding it.
Best, most innovative and effective or creative use of original media – including video, audio, animations, motion graphics, etc. – created specifically for mobile devices that serves to promote a brand, product, or message.