Beatbullying: Marching to make a difference
On 15th November 2010, the start of anti-bullying week, over 800,000 people marched on Downing Street. But their feet didn’t carry them along roads and pavements. The march was digital, a world first.
The Big March was part of Arnold KLP’s groundbreaking new campaign for anti-bullying charity Beatbullying. The charity briefed us to explore ways to build on their existing communications and education platform for anti-bullying week. They needed to generate greater levels of awareness and cut through apathy to reach the very highest levels of Government. Their goal is to affect a change of policy to protect the increasing numbers of children and young adults who are the victims of bullies.
Our strategy was to deliver a petition to the very door of 10 Downing Street; but in a way never seen before. Children, parents, teachers and celebrities created avatars who ‘marched’ across the homepages of participating partners including YouTube, MTV, The Sun, TOTAL UK, Robinsons Fruit Shoot, Mumsnet and Orange – ending at Downing Street. Each avatar included a personal message; some statements of encouragement and support; others shared feelings, thoughts or experiences.
The messages were the very voice of the bullied; a living, breathing petition that would not be ignored. Marchers could link directly through to Cybermentors - the charity’s unique, online peer-to-peer mentoring service, for advice, support or information. Their collective message was a very simple one; with 1 in 3 children still being bullied within the UK, it was time for action.
With many of these vulnerable youngsters being cyberbullied, it felt good to turn the digital world into a positive environment and empower them to make a stand against bullying.