[Lisbon, June 2017, article by Ana Sofia Fernandes & Nora Kiss] Effective communication is an important tool for promoting social change by challenging gender norms and stereotypes. Aware of this, the European Women’s Lobby partnered with the European Institute for Commercial Communications Education (edcom) and EACA in the context of the Ad Venture Student Competition, a pan-European contest which challenges European students to develop communication campaigns.
This partnership has the double goal of focusing on Herstory of women’s human rights and feminism and mobilizing citizens to participate in initiatives supported by EWL’s European network. The competition allowed the communications and advertisement students to put their skills to the test and to receive a first-hand experience of the communications industry.
60 teams of youngsters from 14 European countries participated in the contest, which entailed three rounds of judging with well-known gender quality experts and activists, professionals from the media industry and academia. After two rounds of judging, the shortlisted three teams - Baguette - The French Magic Touch, anotherstory (Pantheon, University, France); Brilas, Together means more (Bournemouth University, United Kingdom); Team Tortoise - What Are You Laughing At? (Leeds College of Art, United Kingdom) - presented their campaigns to a panel of 6 jurors and a jury chair during a meeting which took place at the IADE Creative University in Lisbon, Portugal, on 19 May 2017.
The jury, chaired by Ricardo Monteiro (HAVAS Worldwide) and including Sofia Barros (APAP), Susana Carvalho (JWT), Alexandre Duarte (IADE University), Luc Van Dijk (Hogeschool Utrecht), Ana Sofia Fernandes (Portuguese Platform for Women’s Rights) and Nora Kiss (Portuguese Network of Young People for Gender Equality) was highly impressed by the quality and creativity of the teams’ campaigns. Picking a winner was not an easy decision but, in the end, the campaign of Team Tortoise was selected!
- Team Tortoise Winner 683x1024
Team Tortoise “What Are You Laughing At?” campaign focuses on denouncing micro-sexisms. It highlights the ever-present inequalities that women and girls have to deal with on a day-to-day basis, which can often seem ‘small’ in comparison to other, larger scale forms of discrimination, but which, according to this team, are at “the root of more serious inequalities” faced by women and girls in our society. The judge felt that the juxtaposition between the initial light-heartedness of the campaign with the grounding reality of the actual message forces the audience to rethink their stance on gender equality.
The winning team was awarded with tickets, travel and accommodation to Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, taking place this month.
- EACA jury banner
For both Ana Sofia Fernandes and Nora Kiss, being able to participate as jury members in this competition was an enriching experience, leading to a better understanding of the way the EU-wide communications and advertisement industry works, and of how to bring a gender perspective to this area. It would be wonderful to see such a powerful transformative campaign to be implemented at the EU wide level!
Read here the press release of EACA. EWL comment: “EWL wishes to congratulate the team Tortoise for their work. Their proposal is full of creativity and professionalism. They tackle the most subtle and persistent obstacle to equality between women and men, namely everyday sexism, and propose a concrete and through-provoking way to react and engage. We wish them the best for their feminist future!”
The winning team, represented by Caitlin Horrex, Emma Bromley, Jasper McIver and Zebedee Devey Waterhouse:
- Team Tortoise