Interview starts at 16:20
Khalid and Shaheed talked about ‘Malaria No More’, a Pro bono project they are working on, but one that also had an interesting story in how the creative ideas came about, as it links to the hot topic of finding and nurturing new diverse talent in the industry.
Shaheed said that Malaria is the single biggest killer of humans in the world, having wiped out 50% of the population since time began and whilst this claim can’t be necessarily by substantiated, there is still plenty of evidence that it is the world’s biggest killer disease, having claimed billions of human lives. Therefore, as he explained, it has an economic impact on countries and governments across the world but crucially, it can be completely killed in our lifetime with the right resources and finance.
Shaheed said that Malaria No More decided to approach their fundraising differently by wanting to approach CEOs of businesses and inviting them to be part of an exclusive club through which they will contribute towards fundraising for the charity. They therefore needed something very creative that would engage the CEOs and make them pay attention and even shock them.
However, instead of approaching their top in-house creative, Khalid said that Publicis LifeBrands used their initiative called ‘The Lab’ – a programme that has been running for three years – that aims to bring young or old talent into the business from anywhere, whatever they have been doing, from any walk of life, addressing the issue of diversity in the industry. Shaheed added that 86% of those in the industry come from white middle class backgrounds and described The Lab as their version of The X Factor to give an opportunity to people who wouldn’t normally get a chance to work in the creative industry, where they don’t even look at the CVs of people who apply.
The team that worked on Malaria No More included Rosie, who had been living in Ireland with her parents who Shaheed described as looking like Ziggy Stardust, but what was key was that she had drive, passion and desire in abundance. Another member of the team was Sophia who had been unemployed for 18 months before coming across The Lab.
It was from this process that the idea of a film for Malaria No More was generated – a film that needed to shock and, as Khalid explained, to get people to say “What the fuck”.
The resulting idea, given they were targeting high net worth individuals, was to put Malaria ‘out of business’.
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) 25 April 2017
Shaheed said that the video was released on World Malaria Day and within the first two weeks, had been shared millions of times, being retweeted by the likes of Richard Branson, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, and even Rentokill (which makes sense when you see the video).
Shaheed described the campaign as a huge success, generated from an idea by two girls from diverse backgrounds, who have never worked in the industry before.
Shaheed’s recommendation is for all business to look at how The Lab works … and do the same!
The Cannes Lions episodes of the csuitepodcast were sponsored by Capstone Hill Search.
Thanks to ICCO for allowing us to carry out the interviews in their House of PR.
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