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Creative United Nations

The UN launches unsettling ‘Feed Our Future’ social and cinema campaign to help end hunger


By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

September 24, 2018 | 5 min read

A global cinema and social campaign featuring leading names from the film, advertising and humanitarian worlds launched today (24 September), aimed at stirring global audiences into action to tackle global hunger.

Miriam for WFP

Miriam is the face of hunger for new WFP campaign

The campaign, which finds itself in theaters across the world and on Facebook and Instagram, coincides with the launch of the annual United Nations General Assembly session in New York.

Sawa, the Global Cinema Advertising Association, in association with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), a humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide, created the ‘Feed Our Future’ campaign to highlight the potential that is lost every time a child dies of hunger.

The unsettling narrative depicts a bustling news conference with journalists vying to interview the recipient, Miriam, of a breakthrough medical research award. As the short film progresses, the journalists learn from Miriam that ultimately there was no medical breakthrough – the chilling conclusion reveals the young woman in question had in fact died of hunger when she was eight years old.

Following the ad, the audience is prompted to take part in creating a world with Zero Hunger by downloading the Share The Meal app, which allows consumers to donate 50 US cents (the cost of feeding a child for a day) just by tapping their phone.

‘Feed Our Future’ will air across cinema screens in more than 30 countries. The 60-second cinema advertisement was conceived by advertising legend Sir John Hegarty and The Garage Soho. It was directed by film director Lynne Ramsay and produced by production company Somesuch & Co.

A teaser for the ad debuted at Cannes Lions earlier this year.

“The creative challenge here is to find a way of engaging the audience without resorting to endless images of starving children – creating empathy by reminding the viewer that when a child dies, we all lose,” said Sir John Hegarty.

Inspired by the cinema advertisement’s message, Facebook is bringing the campaign to life online through an integrated digital campaign. Borne from a 'Hack for Good' at the recent Cannes Lions Festival for Creativity, a team of creatives from across the industry and Facebook’s Creative Shop created a Facebook Messenger experience to give viewers the opportunity to engage with the character from the advertisement and learn more about hunger.

Miriam FB Messenger

They have also planned a Facebook Live launch of the advertisement from New York, and an engaging video campaign on Facebook and Instagram to prompt users to donate to WFP and help 'Feed Our Future'. At a time when 821 million people – roughly one in nine of the global population – still go to bed on an empty stomach, this new digital integration will bring the offline online by connecting viewers with the cinema advertisement and the issue in a brand new way.

Additional short videos will help build awareness and drive people to join the United Nations Facebook Live. The videos are running cross platform days prior to the Facebook Live, featuring celebrities Daniel Bruhl, George Stroumboulopoulos and singer Sami Yusef.

A Facebook Live event at the United Nations General Assembly was led by Nelufar Hedayat, journalist and presenter for Fusion Media Network, who has worked across the BBC, Channel 4 and international broadcasters.

Post-event Facebook ads will help with fundraising through the Donate Now button.

“Hunger is a major global issue," said Cheryl Wannell, chief executive of Sawa. "It is therefore fitting that the cinema medium, with its global reach, should be proactive in driving awareness for the World Food Programme. Millennials who are educated, socially aware and a hard to reach demographic, make up a large part of the cinema audience and these are the people that can and will facilitate change.

"Around the world, hunger is once again on the rise, and it exacts a painful toll on all of us in lives lost and human potential wasted. In a powerful way, the ‘Feed Our Future’ campaign shows what we all lose each time a child dies of hunger," added David Beasley, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme.

"We are proud to work with Sawa and the cinema medium to engage and motivate movie audiences around the world to take action with us to ensure no child continues to suffer from hunger. Because with all the wealth in the world today, no child should."

‘Feed Our Future’ will air on cinema screens in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Finland, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Peru, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Uruguay.

advert-body-1 by Meta & The Garage Soho

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