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Leo Burnett Company, Limited
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Toronto, Ontario M4W 3R9
+416 925 5997

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Leo Burnett Dubai Advocates Responsible Social Media Behavior in Latest du #PostWisely Campaign

Viewers experience harrowing tragedies through the victims' lens in powerful new campaign.

In our digitally-driven culture, human compassion is often abandoned for the instant gratification that social sharing offers. From cyber bullying to suicides to violence, tragedies increasingly consumed through smart phone cameras and shares rather than sympathy and, in doing so, we forget that there are real people on the screen. Likes have become more important than lives.

This was the inspiration behind the latest iteration of du's #PostWisely campaign by Leo Burnett Dubai. #PostWisely encourages ethical and compassionate social media behavior, and represents the company's commitment as a connectivity provider to promoting responsible communication practices. The first wave of the campaign highlighted the all too real risks of oversharing information online, such as home robbery or even death.

The Dubai office's latest #PostWisely work features four graphic films, inspired by actual viral videos, that turn the spotlight back towards the viewer and allow them to experience these tragic events first-hand - from the eyes of the victim. The films aim to illustrate how unethical it is to share or capture this content, and to encourage self-reflection and discussion on responsible social media use.

In the first of the four videos, "Crash," watchers experience a gruesome bus crash through the eyes of a rider, who survives only to be encountered by a man with a smartphone, recording his bloodied face. All four films end by posing the question: "If it was your life, would you share it?"

We caught up with the minds behind the campaign: Rafael Agusto, creative director at Leo Burnett Dubai, and Haytham Dayeh, communications servicing director for Leo Burnett MEA. They shared more details on the inspiration and message driving this impactful new work below.

Why make the films so visceral and graphic?
Our online audience is becoming numb to shocking content. To reignite compassion, we wanted to place viewers in the shoes of victims of actual viral videos. We wanted viewers to see the world from the perspective of a helpless human being - a perspective, which in today's world of clicks, views and likes, has been forgotten. We needed to turn the camera around and highlight the epidemic of people who are pointing their smartphones at someone in need instead of helping them, or at least having the compassion not to share someone else's tragedy. This is why we have posed the question, "If it was your life, would you share it?"

What has been the greatest challenge in creating this campaign?
It was important for us to keep the stories as genuine and authentic as possible not only in terms of the execution but also by rooting each in a real-life event. While we felt that the POV technique was essential to bring to life the sentiment we wanted to deliver, there was a danger it could become a distraction or over-shadow the human story that we wanted to tell. So, we developed a backstory for each protagonist that could shine through in the film to immediately connect viewers with our characters and build the compassion we were aiming for.

What do you hope to be an outcome of this work?
The ambition is to change the behavior of social media users who are using gruesome real-life content as a type of social currency. We want to drive conversation around the topic and create a consciousness amongst the online community that some content isn't - and never should be - viewed or shared as entertainment.