#OurVoicesAreVital: An interview with Big Spaceship.

AdForum sits down with Big Spaceship's Group Creative Director, Steve Street to discuss the fantastic pro bono work the agency created for the Greenpeace #OurVoicesAreVital campaign.

AdForum: Big Spaceship offers a wide variety of in-house services, such as social media, in a collaborative space; how crucial do you think this was in creating a campaign like #OurVoicesAreVital?

 

Steve: Bringing disciplines together by client has long been part of how we've operated as a company, the short answer being that the whole team owns the project - versus the model where an account person ushers a job through the system. We don't have departments to pass things through, so in breaking those silos up we've freed our teams to collaborate more efficiently.

 

We see this approach as crucial for everything we do!

 

AdForum: Being the agency behind one of Greenpeace’s biggest efforts in its 46-year history is a huge task. What was the biggest challenge for Big Spaceship throughout the creation of the #OurVoicesAreVital campaign?

 

Steve: The campaign needed an idea that was inclusive and universal to bring together not just international Greenpeace offices, but people across the globe are witnessing the erosion of rights by corporate interests. Free speech is something we all tend to take for granted because it’s been part of our lives for generations. It’s easy to disregard threats against it because we see it as inalienable. But for Greenpeace and so many other individuals and organizations alike, the threat is very real. Making that point clear was our core challenge.

 

AdForum: Was there a strategic decision behind the selection of the influencers used in this campaign?

Steve: We cast real people that rely on free speech for their chosen passion or career, be it journalism, acting, songwriting, art or activism. This was a case where it was really important to see other individuals taking up this mantle, particularly influential and well-known people, which helps familiarize the issue a bit more.

 

AdForum: The case against Greenpeace has been described as a textbook SLAPPS: Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.  How important are campaigns like #OurVoicesAreVital in the fight for freedom of speech?

 

Steve: Now more than ever, it’s important people are aware of the threat corporate interests can pose to fundamental rights such as free speech.

 

Greenpeace has long been a voice for the preservation of our planet and expensive lawsuits designed to silence them shows the sinister tactics corporations can deploy and the very dangerous precedents they set.

 
AdForum: Since the campaign has launched; how involved has the public been in this collective protest?  And what more needs to be done to tackle this matter?

 

Steve: Greenpeace supporters around the world have shown support in lots of different ways. Nearly 500,000 have signed petitions, 8500 have lent their voice, and volunteers around the world have sent in dozens of photos with famous trees in their neighborhood. All of it has helped Greenpeace demonstrate global support on this critical issue.