CALM’s “The Last Photo” campaign just won an absolute tonne of awards.
Most recently (today as it happens) we won no fewer than 11 D&AD pencils for the work. Three yellows, four graphite and four wood. That’s a lot of awards.
But what should never be lost in all of the celebration and mutual back-patting between agency and client and agency and agency (the list includes the team at ITV, adam&eveDDB, cain&abelDDB, King Henry Studios and the7stars) as we congratulate ourselves, is that this campaign would never have happened without the incredible contribution of three groups of people.
First of all our clients. CALM is an incredible organisation that is staffed by some amazing people. It’s a privilege to work alongside the marketing team in the service of those on the frontline that deliver its mission – helping to prevent suicide in the UK on the phones and on the webchat and on WhatsApp. They are truly amazing people doing amazing work.
Second of all the team members who made this campaign happen. CALM is a pro-bono client for us. We do it because we believe passionately that communications can be a power for good and that, if we’re going to make a contribution to society then we should do so by doing what we do best. The CALM team that volunteered to deliver The Last Photo did so because they share that belief and, for that and for their dedication, we are incredibly grateful.
But most of all the contributions we should celebrate are those of the families who allowed their loved ones to feature in the work.
The Last Photo depicted the final piece of photography from those who went on, shortly after, to take their own lives. Each image was donated by a family member. And the reason that the families got involved was that they hoped that, by creating a national conversation, they would prevent other families like them ever having to go through a similar trauma.
They hoped that a life would be saved as a result of an image of their loved one being used and their stories being heard.
So while it’ll be nice for CALM’s team and the agencies – and the team members here at Hope&Glory – to admire the pencils adorning the trophy cabinet, we should never look at them without remembering the contribution made by the real heroes of this campaign: the families willing to take part, despite the bravery they had to summon up to do so.
This is one of those moments where taking to the stage to receive a trophy is a reminder that we’re not the heroes of this campaign. They are. And if we lift awards we only do it because they put us on that stage in the first place.