Double Message of “The Girl Effect”

  • Published in Film + Web


Matt Smithson is the director behind the new viral video calling for social change, “The Girl Effect.” The spot was created for Wieden+Kennedy and is part of the $100 million-backed effort from Nike Foundation and NoVo Foundation to the cause, which is about being “the powerful social and economic change brought about when girls have the opportunity to participate in their society.”

The high contrast, upper-case and sans-serif type, along with the quick tempo and elegant strings, serve to communicate the issue clearly and quickly in the 2:23 video. It works as an introduction to the web site, but also stands alone:

By using two elements — such as typography and music — the message resonates. Simon Robson’s 2003 video, What Barry Says, combined the voiceover by Barry McNamara with computer-generated visual metaphors to make its point on social change. Pangea Day’s trailer, What If, which was posted here earlier, elaborated upon iconic video and realistic voice-over as focal points. Even Nike is known for this style, merging jump-cut edits and playful piano for their anthem spot during the 2002 Olympics.

But what message is this type treatment saying? Nike has been criticized in the past for associations with third-world sweatshops. This efforts with this campaign positions Nike as supporter, not exploiter, which helps appeal their image.

And why the girl effect — wouldn’t this theory work with anyone? The fact sheet for the effort notes that women reinvest 90% of their income into her family but a man will reinvest 30 to 40%.

Related, Matt and Sean Pecknold started “a small art and film collective called Pickles to showcase the work of [their] friends.” From one collective to another, hello!

(via Motionographer)


Aaron Proctor
Founder, FWD:labs
Director of Photography site

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