Unilever and MullenLowe London Highlight Global Plight of Childhood Play

One in two children around the world spend an hour or less outside per day, and one in 10 never plays outdoors – that’s less than most maximum security prisoners! To bring this issue to light, MullenLowe London partnered with Unilever’s OMO/Persil to create a new installment of the Dirt is Good campaign that highlights the dearth of outdoor time for children around the word. To create the new global integrated marketing campaign, MullenLowe London partnered with Sir Ken Robinson, world leading expert in education, creativity and human development.

At the heart of the campaign, OMO/Persil has created “Free the Kids” a ground-breaking film set in a maximum security prison in the US. Created by MullenLowe London and directed by documentary filmmaker, Toby Dye of RSA Films, the team visited Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Indiana, USA to talk to prison inmates about the importance they place on their daily outdoors time.

The powerful stories of the prisoners, who volunteered to be part of the project, communicate the stark contrast between the time they are guaranteed outside each day and the woeful lack of time spent playing outdoors by today’s children.

Alex Okada, Global Creative Director for OMO/Persil at MullenLowe London explains: “We knew a traditional idea would not be enough to provoke the debate we need around this dramatic problem. This campaign is an opportunity to give a new dimension to the Dirt is Good brand philosophy."

Toby Dye, Director RSA Films added: “Everything in the film was shot for real with a tiny crew of five, under genuine documentary conditions. Staying true to the documentary approach we were open to allowing the unscripted and unplanned for occurrences of filming real life shape our finished film. I’m very proud that we have made a film that works on so many levels and have powerfully communicated the intended message in an emotionally engaging, non-judgmental way.”

As a campaign destined to drive mass social conversation, Unilever will be working with Twitter to utilize its Moments offering. This will be the first time that Unilever has partnered with the social platform around its “best of” offering.

Additionally, OMO/Persil is partnering with Project Dirt to deliver Outdoor Classroom Day, a global initiative aimed at getting millions of schoolchildren across the world to spend a day learning outside in nature. Launching in the UK, Brazil and Turkey, the campaign will be asking parents to share their views on play and sign up their child’s school to Outdoor Classroom Day via the newly created www.dirtisgood.com.

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