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?

Every 8 minutes, a girl in India is abducted and forced into sexual slavery. And the first 24 hours are critical in finding leads, after which the chances of rescue drop drastically. "Gone Girl" used the ephemeral, "gone in 24 hours" nature of IG Stories to bring alive this insight and raise both awareness and donations.

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

Human Trafficking is possibly one of the most inhuman acts a person can be forced to undergo. A friend used to work at Justice and Care, and the real stories he told were horrific. We felt we should use both our skills and the platform to do our bit to fight against this most devastating of crimes.

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

Authenticity was the first concern. We didn't want to come across as "fake" or "staged," especially as we were dealing with such an important and sensitive topic. So we shot inside a real brothel in Mumbai, though with a hired cast. To not come across as vulgar or sleazy was another lookout; we tackled this by working with innuendo, expressions, and a heightened sense of atmosphere created through lighting and sound design. Budget was the third worry. We were working with very limited monies and thus pulled favours to get one of India's best directors to shoot the campaign, that too for next to nothing. And then used ad credits to help boost the campaign.

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?

To know that the work we were doing could make a real difference on the ground was the most satisfying, rewarding aspect. We talked with many of the women in the brothel, and came to know that sexual slavery often becomes economic slavery—the older women were free to leave, but chose to stay as they felt they could not earn enough in the outside world to take care of their families. It was also a learning as well as a humbling experience to see these women carry themselves with an absolute lack of self pity, with courage, normalcy and dignity.

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

Justice and Care is a relatively small organization fighting a multi-billion-dollar criminal enterprise, and we were hoping to raise awareness about them. We not only got a crazy number of impressions and started many conversations, but managed to get them 98% more volunteers (32 instead of 1 or 2, that they normally get after a campaign). Plus donations through the crowdfunding site Ketto, as well.

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

The script originally had the girl in the beginning, looking to camera and saying: "I don't have much time." While shooting, we realized that changing the sequence to have her in the end, would add a touch of magic. It was the most chilling, call-to-action we could hope to have.

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

This idea married a human insight with product functionality. We used the ephemeral, "gone-in-24-hours" nature of Instagram Stories to tell our tale of abduction and forced sexual slavery—in 24-hours, the girl would be forever lost to rescue. Thus, it was a literal case of the medium being the message, and we couldn't have done this idea anywhere but on Instagram.

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

Pulling the production off was the biggest challenge for this idea.

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

At Facebook, we believe in the power of community and in what we call, "Meaningful Social Interactions." Thus, it is ingrained in our philosophy and how we look at the power of creativity. In the future too, this philosophy will act as our North Star and will help us in coming up with ideas that mean something to people, and we hope to leverage the reach of our platform and its technological capabilities to tell even more compelling human stories.

LAST CHANCE TO WATCH SLAYER Facebook

Credits

  • Chief Creative Officer Mark D'Arcy Facebook Creative Shop
  • Regional Director APAC Fergus O'Hare Facebook Creative Shop
  • Head of Creative Shop APAC Julia Kalia Facebook Creative Shop
  • Creative Strategist Ram Cobain Facebook Creative Shop
  • Producer Claire Davidson Facebook Creative Shop
  • Visualizer Aditi Rajagopal Facebook Creative ShopFacebook, Inc.
  • Client Solutions Manager Debasish Patra Facebook, Inc.
  • Client Solutions Manager Snehi Jha Mehta Facebook, Inc.
  • Program Manager Shilesh Alwar Facebook ManCreative Shop
  • Director Piyush Raghani Like Minded People
  • Executive Producer Ruchi Shah Like Minded People
  • Producer Kedhhar Barve Like Minded People
  • Director of Photography Deepti Gupta Like Minded People

About the Public Service & Activism (Video) category

Social video designed to elevate a cause or provoke action. Platform agnostic—enter any and all social media that best exemplify your work.