FCB Brings Literacy Into Focus

Project Literacy, developed by FCB Inferno for Pearson, the multinational publishing and education company, launched this week with a speech by Lily Cole at the Houses of Parliament in London. The project brings together organizations from UNESCO, to Microsoft, to the National Literacy Trust to make significant and sustainable advances in the fight against illiteracy. The objective is for illiteracy to be placed higher on the political agenda and, ultimately, for the United Nations to add literacy to its Sustainable Development Goals so that by 2030 no child will be born at risk of illiteracy.

Evidence shows that illiteracy is a significant contributor to many global problems including radicalization, poverty and gender inequality. Using the alphabet, FCB Inferno created the “Alphabet of Illiteracy,” an A – Z of major global issues that could, in part, be overcome by greater literacy. For example, A is for AIDS, because if you can’t read or write you are five times less likely to understand how people can contract HIV. B is for Bloodshed, because the rate of violent crimes such as homicide and sexual assaults is almost double among the illiterate population.

In a 90-second film, the “Alphabet of Illiteracy” is set to the catchy melody of the 1948 hit, “A You’re Adorable.” Each letter is represented by a hand-crafted animated sculpture. The film is launching across digital platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Unruly and Virool, aimed at millennials with a focus on those who have a particular interest in social issues and are active in social media.

A complementary social media strategy tells the story of each letter and highlights Project Literacy partners’ work, as well as experiences of those affected by illiteracy. This will launch across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr. Each letter has a dedicated Instagram account featuring content on each topic, allowing users to discover each letter of the Alphabet of Illiteracy natively on the platform. Outreach will engage key social influencers including those closely involved with literacy and sustainable development.

ProjectLiteracy.com houses the entire Alphabet of Illiteracy, and visitors can read an explanation behind each letter, learning about how Project Literacy partners are tackling each issue. The site encourages people to take action, which could include sharing the film, finding a volunteer opportunity, or signing a petition that asks for the UN to put literacy at the heart of every action to advance the Sustainable Development Goals. On signing, users can create a GIF of their name in the Alphabet of Illiteracy’letters to be shared on social media.

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