For UN Women, Erich & Kallman have created a spot that features a 1950s newscaster talking about the state of working women: less pay than men for the same qualifications, less likely to get a pension, you know the drill.
Except, as he goes on, the scene begins to change ...
... no, it doesn't get more equal! But it does get more modern. It turns out the facts remain the same all over the world, even as TVs swing into color and pocket kerchiefs get sassier—an elapse of 70 years (that newscaster is probably a Twitch livestreamer now).
The video was shot in a single take and directed by Doug Walker of Caruso Company. "We knew we had to design the choreography to be seamless," Walker says. "I broke the script down into sections, giving our talent and all of our stagehands key words from our script to act on," said Walker. "We were nervous, but as soon as we rolled a test take and played it back, we knew we had something special on our hands."
Made for International Women's Day, the video is part of UN Women's ongoing campaign to make gender equality more actionable and goals-oriented. The website includes information on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
Created 25 years ago, the latter remains the most comprehensive agenda for women's rights and empowerment collectively attempted thus far. It covers 12 areas of concern: poverty, education and training, health, violence, armed conflict, economy, power and decision-making, institutional mechanisms, human rights, media, environment, and the girl child. Each has its own objectives and a detailed catalog of actions that governments and stakeholders can take at regional, national and international levels.
"We were working with one of our clients on their International Women's Day effort last year and looking at statistics about working women," says Erich & Kallman's co-founder and chief creative officer, Eric Kallman. "For as much as our world talks about women's equality, it was appalling to see the lack of real progress. We were looking at each other saying these stats could be from the 1950s, and that's where the idea was born.
"Thankfully, equal pay is slowly moving from cultural conversation to actual initiatives for companies. But the bigger battle for workplace equality—fair pensions, access to well-paying STEM jobs, and mandatory maternity leave—seems to evade our collective conscience."
The WEF's Gender Gap Report of 2020 estimates it could take another 99.5 years to achieve gender parity if we continue at our current rate.
"The fact that we could still be watching the same news as our grandparents, as this PSA shows, means we simply have not seen enough progress," says Oisika Chakrabarti, UN Women's chief of communications and advocacy. "To bring change, we need every individual, collective, organization and country to be a game changer. We are calling on everyone to be part of Generation Equality and to make gender equality a reality."
Client: UN Women
Social Media Team Lead: Sarah Gilbertz
Audiovisual Specialist: Marisa Grattan
Agency: Erich & Kallman
Production Company: Caruso Company
Director: Doug Walker
Director of Photography: Norman Bonney
Executive Producer: Robert Caruso
Producer: Vieve Haag
Production Coordinator: Janae Bassignani
Assistant Director: Annie Spiegelman
Gaffer: Alan Steinheim
Production Designer: David Daugherty
Prop Master: Aaron Young
Wardrobe: Molly Rebuschatis
Post Production: 1606 Studio
Editor: Brandy Troxler
Executive Producer: Jon Ettinger
Visual Effects: Matt Trivan
Color: Doug Walker
Mix: M Squared Productions
Sound Engineer: Co-Founder / Mark Pitchford
Music: Butter Music
CCO/Composer: Andrew Sherman
EP: Annick Mayer
Producer: Stone Irr