Non-Profit | Advocacy | DEI | Social Media | Print | Merchandise
"We Can Be the Solution"
Make sexual assault a problem men feel compelled to talk about with one another, and incentivize “bros” to be vocal advocates of the cause. The campaign should find a way to make an informative statement that gets men talking and/or get involved. The tone and medium must be clever to reach this objective.
The new young generation of children: focusing on teen boys, but also accessible to girls, non-binary, transitioning persons, etc.
(Ages 14-18 yrs old)
Boys & Girls Club
Art Director •
We are in the age of fragile progression of equality. The ongoing fight for female empowerment and confrontation of toxic masculinity in society has led to more discussions about these issues in hopes of finding a greater solution. In light of this, brands must show support for these liberal movements by addressing the topic in their own ways. These campaigns also ensure the continuation of the conversation and inspire important relevant points of interest. The key is addressing the issues at the root and educating others.
There is no question about society’s evident sexism and sexual assault dilemma. But with the recent and continuous exposures following the big #MeToo Movement, the narratives of hundreds…thousands of women were broadcasted, illuminating the grim realities of women worldwide.
This was not some new controversial revelation running rampant, but this recent development in the conversation helped reinforce a need to reevaluate our social system entirely.
How can we create a campaign geared towards the male demographic, which emphasizes these points and yet conveys the message in a way they understand and feel comfortable with?
On this project, my partner and I decided the best course of action is to grasp the issue at one of its roots. Where do all these problems stem from, where does it all begin?
My partner and I believe educating the young boys who grow up to become these men is one fundamental step in the right direction.
As research has shown, boys are heavily nurtured into toxic masculine traits even from a young age, they are not all innate qualities. I believe children are smart, they absorb new information constantly.
For boys, sexist ideas or actions are repetitively introduced to them and never admonished, which reinforces this compliance, but young boys don’t know any better from right and wrong.
They have the capacity to learn and understand these complex ideas, but they just need an introduction to the subject in a healthy environment first.
For the project, we decided to create a campaign for a new educational program (fictitious) we developed for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
The program would be a workshop held by the organization for specifically teenage boys on sexual assault so they can become the new generation that puts a stop to sexism/sexual assault.
Boys at this age are growing into young men, they’re just discovering their sexuality and awakening to the differences between men and women. While they are still blooming youth, we want to properly educate them when they are still receptive.
The workshop would offer a comfortable, safe place to learn and interact with concepts surrounding sexism/sexual assault. By doing so around peers of the same age, it helps lessen the stigma and open the floor to more honest discussions in a healthy, safe space.
We don’t want to just pound information into these boys, we also want to open the discussion and have real talks that spark thought provoking questions from them. It’s one thing to give a boring lecture, people connect more when they are proactive and involved in the material.
We are not absolving men from their actions, it takes real time and responsibility for change to happen. To eventually overturn our society, an entire generation of boys must lead this societal shift.
The Boys & Girls Club is trying to help by promoting this campaign so the new generation of young men understand how they can be the solution.
My partner and I collaborated in making the project materials. We decided on the campaign title and main tagline as “We Can Be the Solution.” “We” because it’s a collective group effort directed specifically at the boys, and the following phrase to emphasize the opportunity for change – forming the solution.
We utilized the color teal, pairing it with a complementary color palette throughout the campaign, because teal is the color for sexual assault/abuse awareness.
I developed our core artistic concept for the branding, focusing on snakes and rope.
The reason behind using such key symbolism is somewhat elaborate. My background is based in fine arts so using symbolism for storytelling is a frequent characteristic in my current work. Regarding the snake, snakes hold numerous meanings in different cultures and religions.
In this case, I considered how the snake and its ouroboros counterpart symbolized transformation/rebirth, wisdom, unity, female characteristics (fertility, umbilical cords), and creation in many cultures.
Notoriously, snakes often are viewed as symbols for sexual desire and temptation, originating from Christianity’s Adam and Eve story. The greek myth of Medusa was also inspiration because in some tale variations she was a victim of rape.
As for the rope symbolism, it represents the duality of how women are bound to the whims of men and reducing their own agency, and men are tethered to traditional societal expectations inflicted upon them. Ropes are also an actual physical binding mechanism sometimes used in assault cases.
I felt compelled to create my own icon that represents all these symbolic perspectives in relation to the campaign’s topic. This snake-rope design (similar elements) are utilized in other campaign materials: the presentation deck, posters, social media posts, and cool workshop merchandise (T-shirts and hats).
My partner and I wanted to incorporate free physical merchandise to the teens who participated in the workshop. Why does it work really well?
It’s an opportunity in many ways. It’s a visible keepsake and reminder, which also spreads awareness about the cause post-workshop. It’s eye-catching and helps incite impactful, spontaneous conversations with passersby who might ask about the meaning behind the symbol when people walk by with the merch.