The Global Cinema Advertising Association (SAWA) and the UN World Food Programme partner to raise awareness for millions facing hunger in Afghanistan
London - As a humanitarian crisis unfolds in Afghanistan: almost 23 million people facing severe hunger, a global cinema advertising campaign featuring leading names from the film, advertising and humanitarian worlds, and aimed at stirring UK cinema audiences into action to tackle global hunger, includes the people of Afghanistan in their campaign to fight hunger. SAWA, the Global Cinema Advertising Association, in association with the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s leading humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide, created the “Feed Our Future” campaign to highlight the potential that is lost every time a child dies of hunger.
Starting today, “Feed Our Future” will air across cinema screens in the UK. The 60-second cinema advertisement was conceived by advertising legend Sir John Hegarty and The Garage Soho.
More than half the population are facing acute hunger and 3.2 million children are suffering from malnutrition. Fueling Afghanistan’s hunger crisis is a crashed economy that comes on top of years of conflict, severe drought, and the socio-economic impact of COVID-19, that had already left millions destitute. Cash shortages, jobs losses, and unpaid salaries have pushed millions more into hunger and despair, following a rapid suspension on international aid and the freeze of the country’s overseas assets.
The 60-second cinema ad was directed by Nick Gordon and conceived by advertising legend Sir John Hegarty and The Garage Soho. The chilling narrative opens on a scene of destruction torn straight from today’s headlines where conflict and hunger are deeply intertwined. We see children playing in rubble and gazing out of bombed-out buildings. Softly, a small chorus of voices begins singing “How Can I Tell You” by Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens. As the short film progresses, one by one these children disappear until only one voice remains -- an unnerving conclusion that mirrors the harsh realities faced by the 3 million children around the world who lose their lives to hunger or malnutrition each year. The audience is then prompted to help keep the dreams, aspirations, and potential of these children alive by visiting wfp.org. Following the ad, the audience is asked to take part in creating a world with Zero Hunger by downloading ShareTheMeal, the world’s first app against global hunger.
“The creative challenge here is to find a way of engaging the audience without resorting to endless images of starving children. Creating empathy by reminding the viewer that when a child dies, we all lose,” said Sir John Hegarty.
“Hunger is a major global issue. It is therefore fitting that the Cinema medium, with its global reach, should be proactive in driving awareness for the World Food Programme. Millennials who are educated, socially aware and a hard to reach demographic, make up a large part of the Cinema audience and these are the people that can and will facilitate change. Since 2015, the Global Cinema Medium has stepped up to support the Sustainable Development Goals and we are committed and beyond to make the World Food Programme famous by using the power and impact of the Cinema Medium. SAWA encourages other mediums to do likewise,” says Cheryl Wannell, CEO of SAWA.
‘’The people of Afghanistan, the innocent people of Afghanistan, the children of Afghanistan who have had their lives upended through no fault of their own cannot be condemned to hunger and starvation just because of the lottery of geopolitics and the lottery of birth,’’ says Afghanistan Country Director Mary-Ellen McGroarty.
At a time when 811 million people go to bed hungry each night, the cinema medium is helping people to act now to ensure the world moves closer to ending hunger.
Thanks to SAWA and its network, and the support of UK based member Pearl and Dean Cinemas Ltd who distribute the ad, “Feed our Future” will run for an 8-week period throughout Cinemas in the United Kingdom.
Kathryn Jacob OBE, CEO at Pearl & Dean, said:"This is a very powerful and moving advertising campaign about a major global issue. Not only is this campaign designed to raise awareness, but it’s been created to drive impact that can be turned into real action. There is no better platform to demonstrate the urgency of this appeal than on the big screen which, unlike other forms of advertising, commands the full attention of an audience. We are incredibly honoured to be working with SAWA and the WFP to showcase this important campaign across all Pearl & Dean cinemas and to have a role in driving action for such an important cause.”
For more information about the “Feed Our Future” advertisement and campaign, and to learn how to get involved in creating a world with Zero Hunger, please visit: www.wfp.org/feedourfuture.
ABOUT THE UNITED NATIONS WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME (WFP)
WFP is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.
ShareTheMeal is WFP’s first fundraising and awareness-raising tool. Free to download, the award-winning app is a pioneering way for people to join our efforts in creating a world with zero hunger. Users are in charge of their giving experience and can choose to help feed a child in need whenever they like, such as when they are having lunch, for as little as US$0.70. As of December 2021, more than 6 million users have donated over 100 million meals. ShareTheMeal was awarded one of the best apps of 2020 by both Apple and Google.
SAWA, the Global Trade Body to the Cinema Medium, builds and develops international standards and best practice for the Cinema Medium; raising the profile through research and marketing initiatives. SAWA’s ultimate aim is to improve communication between Cinema Advertising companies around the world; in turn facilitating the easier buying of the Cinema Medium for brands and agencies. Since 2015, SAWA has supported the UN SDG’s and in 2018 is partnering with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), SDG2: Zero Hunger.
ABOUT THE GARAGE SOHO
“The Garage Soho is an early stage investor and brand builder. Sir John Hegarty, the creative founder of global advertising agency BBH, and his team at The Garage leverage their experience to increase capital for their portfolio companies. The team works closely with companies on their brand strategy, creative and often media partnerships. In this instance, Sir John wrote and creatively directed ‘Feed our Future’ utilising his legendary skill in the communications industry to bring attention and action towards the SDG of Zero Hunger. "