The Human Rights Campaign and VMLY&R’s award-winning ‘Reality Flag’ uncovered
The Human Rights Campaign and VMLY&R won the Most Effective Integrated Marketing Campaign award at The Drum Awards for Digital Industries 2022 for ‘The reality flag: A symbol exposing the missing freedoms of LGBTQ+ Americans.’ Here, we unpack this victorious campaign.
‘The reality flag: A symbol exposing the missing freedoms of LGBTQ+ Americans’ / Credit: Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ+ political lobbying organization in the United States, partnered with global creative agency VMLY&R on a political campaign that would put the oppression millions of Americans front-and-center. Their mission was to educate others and compel them to take a stand.
According to the ‘Reality flag‘ website, basic freedoms, like the right to rent a home or the ability to receive public goods and services, are not provided to millions of LGBTQ+ Americans living in 29 states. This reality persists seven years after the Marriage Equality Act was passed.
The Human Rights campaign sought to change this through a campaign that promotes the passing of The Equality Act, which would ensure basic freedoms and protections for every American in every state. Working with VMLY&R, the campaign would be known as ‘The reality flag: A symbol exposing the missing freedoms of LGBTQ+ Americans.’
In 60 seconds, VMLY&R elucidates the issue at hand through the lens of the people it immediately affects. These people hold an American flag with only half of the stars intact, signifying that only a portion of the country‘s population benefit from its freedoms.
By the end of the spot, several LGBTQ+ people hold the flag. They gaze directly at the viewer, creating a statement so bold that it commands its audience to face the situation head-on.
The campaign was a shining success in many ways. On November 30 of this year, the Senate passed the Marriage Equality Act in a bipartisan vote, federally protecting both same-sex and interracial marriages.