“Melania, blink twice if you want us to save you”
“My body, not yours”
“Nasty Women! Unite!”
“Let the record show that I did not consent to this! #notokay”
“I’d even prefer Joffrey”
These are just a few of the lines that appeared on the several hundreds of thousands of signs across the world during the Women’s Marches that took place on January 21.
According to the March’s official website, 673 marches took place from Toronto, Canada to Antarctica to Kakuma, Kenya. All in all, it’s estimated that there were 4.8 million participants.
To put that in perspective, that’s over twice the size of Toronto. It mirrors a seventh of Canada’s total population.
And what brought these people together?
The idea that women’s rights, are human rights, period.
This is what captured our minutes this week.
Here’s why: there is power behind having an idea that unifies.
In the content world, we’re always hoping to develop a creative brief, theme, guiding principle (or whatever you want to call it) that does three things:
1. Creates experiences.
2. Surpasses boundaries to bring people together.
3. Makes people believe.
These things aren’t lofty, fluffy ideas. It’s important to reach them.
When people interact with your content, you want them to have a real experience with it where it elicits a response, makes connections and makes them remember.
You want a lot of people to be able to access it, regardless of where they are.
You should want audiences to hear the idea or theme behind the message and go “yeah, that’s for me.”
Once you’ve achieved those things, you know you’ve got something that will hold on and be able to branch out into a bunch of branches that will only solidify the original idea.
While the marches that happened across the world were of course much more important than any idea we’ll ever generate into an ad or content campaign, we were inspired by the way they all had the same purpose and united people.
Women and men everywhere, regardless of age, ethnicity and socio-economic standing supported one another.
If you read the Mission and Vision page on the official Women’s March website, the first principle is that women’s rights are human rights. That regardless of that woman’s particular identity, it is important to protect all.
This was all stated within the context of the most recent American Presidential Election, in which a particular rhetoric of fear was used to divide. A lot of issues got wound down to “us” vs. “them.” It became less about what needs to be done together to move forward and more about difference.
Creating a mission statement for an activist group is hard. It’s hard to put it down to a single line that encompasses all, especially on a topic that is so (and should be) intersectional.
But they did it. They found a way to answer the question of “what is the main idea here?”
Sometimes things just get too complicated. An original idea gets lost in trying to respond to everything.
In truth, it’s the original idea that needs to be protected. That’s typically where the focus is.
To reiterate, the focus here is that women’s rights are human rights, period. In five words, power is generated and they have explained the importance of this issue.
So while we may not all be aiming to change the world (but why not?), the least we can do here is learn from example.
We can all try to protect our ideas and not let the guiding principle be lost in difference, but instead be strengthened by keeping it exactly as it sounds.
At the end of the day, people engage with content by lending their minutes. Content is successful when its battery is fully charged with attention.
What will win this week?