The One Club and MullenLowe form creative force to combat gun violence
Inspired by recent student activism, The One Club for Creativity, the world’s foremost non-profit organisation in adverting and design, and MullenLowe are founding Fight Gunfire With Fire (FGWF), a creative force designed to inspire student creativity in the effort to curb gun violence.
The strongest work submitted by students will be brought to life in partnership with advertising agencies, production and editorial companies, non-profits and national leaders to create active campaigns.
“Now is the time for us to support our students, who through their vocal actions are making a difference in the fight against gun violence,” said Kevin Swanepoel, CEO, The One Club for Creativity. “Fight Gunfire with Fire supports their efforts further by amplifying their work and finding like-minded creatives to make their visions a reality.”
Fight Gunfire with Fire begins with a creative brief posted on The One Club’s Young Ones student programs website (www.theyoungones.org/), where students get information about the scope and goals of the initiative. As opposed to coming up with a big-budget national TV campaign, students are encouraged to create lower-budget grassroots ideas that can be developed and implemented quickly. There is no fee to enter ideas.
All ideas submitted by students will be reviewed by the FGWF Creative Fire Council in the fall. The best ideas will be showcased on the website and connected to powerful sponsors, including interested agencies, production companies, brands and other organisations that want to take on an idea and bring it to life.
“This is not about the right to bear arms. It’s about the right to send our sons and daughters to school without fearing for their lives,” said Mark Wenneker, Chairman of FGWF and CCO, MullenLowe. “Our industry can use its massive powers of persuasion, creativity, and media to help make sure that children are heard and protected.”
The FGWF project provides numerous opportunities for students to address issues that are reaching a crisis point, and seeks common ground on polarising issues. The creative brief is designed to inspire students to address many issues including, legislative matters – like state reciprocity laws and bans on gun sales to convicted stalkers and violent criminals – as well as related issues such as gun buy-back programmes, racial profiling and domestic violence.
With the goal of launching student work into the market, the FGWF Creative Fire Council, made up of industry leaders, brands, non-profits and influencers, will review submissions at the beginning of the fall. The strongest ideas will be partnered with agencies, production houses, media companies and other groups that want to sponsor specific campaigns.
The Creative Fire Council members include:
Mark Wenneker, US CCO, MullenLowe
Kevin Swanepoel, CEO, The One Club for Creativity
Kirk Baxter, Oscar-winning film editor and Partner, Exile
Keith Cartwright, ECD, 72andSunny
Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Oscar-nominated directors, Bob Industries
Monte Frank, founder, Team 26, partner, Pullman & Comley, candidate for Lt. Governor of Connecticut
Kathy Hepinstall Parks, novelist, creative director
Susan Hoffman, CCO, Wieden+Kennedy
Fernando Machado, global CMO, Burger King
Ida Woldemichael, creative director, Everytown for Gun Safety
“The work of these students has inspired us all to use our talents and skills to make a real difference in our communities,” said Fernando Machado, Global CMO, Burger King. “I look forward to playing a role in helping fuel that Fire which has proved to be a powerful voice today.”
Once the Creative Fire Council has selected the best student ideas, Mophonics and other trailblazing companies will partner with creative industry leaders to help bring as many ideas as possible to life. These companies include Bob Industries, Exile, Mophonics, PS 260, Psyop, Smuggler and Team 26.
“Combining the power of creativity and activism is something I believe strongly in, and it’s a great way for students to make their voices heard to make a difference in today’s world,” said Ida Woldemichael, Creative Director, Everytown for Gun Safety.
In the coming weeks, Fight Gunfire with Fire will reach out to students as they enter summer sessions at the major portfolio schools, and also look to drive engagement with agency internship programmes. The review of ideas will take place over the summer, as ideas are submitted, and can all be done digitally.
Fighting Gunfire With Fire is an ongoing non-profit initiative created by The One Club for Creativity and MullenLowe to inspire and prompt students to submit creative ideas about how to combat gun violence. The brainchild of One Club CEO Kevin Swanepoel and MullenLowe US CCO Mark Wenneker, it was made possible with support from founding partners Susan Hoffman (Wieden + Kennedy), Ida Woldemichael (Everytown for Gun Safety), and sponsors Exile, Team 26, and Bob Industries. The organisation has a no-fee entry structure and will utilise the FGWF Creative Fire Council to identify the student ideas with the greatest potential. These creative ideas will be showcased online and connected with ad and PR agencies, production companies, brands and other like-minded organisations that can provide the funding and resources to bring the ideas to life.