Webby for Good is a collaborative program formed by The Webby Awards and WP Engine to showcase Webby-recognized projects built to change the world.

Describe your Webby-nominated project. What’s the elevator pitch?

To counter the President's narrative, that taking a knee was un-American, we wanted to create a film to remind the public of the truth behind this powerful sign of respect and peaceful protest. So we took infamous and tragic police violence videos and re-imagined them with an athlete kneeling in place of the victim.

Why this particular cause as the subject of your project/campaign? Was there a moment that inspired it?

As an agency, social justice is one of our core tenets, and each viral video of police violence affected us deeply. When the President distorted the narrative around Taking A Knee during the start of football season, stating that football players should be fired for taking a knee, we felt compelled to take action and provide context and understanding.

What concerns were there about pursuing this idea? How did you get past them?

Our main concern was to ensure the authenticity and visceral nature of the original videos. Researching and determining which police violence videos to recreate was traumatic and deeply affecting.

What was the most rewarding aspect of working on your project? What did you learn in the process that you didn't know/expect going into it?

It was rewarding to enter a national conversation with a message that resonated and connected with the audience on such an emotional level. This resulted in social sharing on an astounding scale.

What real-world impact were you hoping to make with this project? Did the real-world impact meet your expectations?

We made this without expectations, but with the hope that it would contribute in changing the narrative about the Take A Knee movement. In the end, it exceeded expectations with organic social reach and press.

Did your team have a specific “breakthrough” or “a-ha” moment while formulating or executing this project?

Kneeling during the national anthem was being painted as a sign of disrespect, yet, the act of kneeling is in fact synonymous with respect: We kneel for those who’ve passed away, for a hand in marriage, and as an act of worship.

Was the tech/medium you chose crucial to conveying your message? If so, why?

We utilized various cameras from iPhones, dash cams, and drone cams to match the original videos. It was critical to replicate the original videos exactly so they would have the same emotional resonance as the actual moment of police violence.

What was the most significant challenge that arose during your work on this?

Ensuring the videos were respectful to those who passed so tragically.

How will you use technology in future work to create inspiring, cutting-edge projects that also make a difference in people’s lives?

Technology allows us to operate in a real-time production model, immediately entering a national conversation. This real-time production model dovetails organically with social distribution because it’s so topical.

FOR WALTER, SANDRA, TERRANCE, ERIC Narrative

Credits

  • Executive Producer Aaron Royer WP Narrative
  • CEO Tricia Clarke-Stone WP Narrative
  • Chief Creative Officer Benjamin Vendramin WP Narrative
  • Producer Stephen Wang WP Narrative
  • Director Lucas McGowen House of Narrative
  • Group Strategy and Business Director Sabina Khilnani WP Narrative
  • Editor Lucas McGowen House of Narrative
  • Editor Morgan Owen House of Narrative

About the Public Service & Activism (Branded) category

Video content created on behalf of a group or organization to support or promote a particular societal cause or issue.