Category A03. Online: Fiction & Non-Fiction
Entrant CLM BBDO Boulogne-Billancourt, FRANCE
Idea Creation CLM BBDO Boulogne-Billancourt, FRANCE
Production LA PAC Paris, FRANCE
Name Company Position
Matthieu Elkaim BBDO Paris Executive Creative Director
Charles Dessaux CLM BBDO Art Director
Emile Martin CLM BBDO Copywriter
Julien Sanson BBDO Paris Production Director
Martine Ferey BBDO Paris Post Producer
Julien Lemoine CLM BBDO Vice President
Julien Pinet CLM BBDO Account Manager
Corentin Monot CLM BBDO Strategic Planning Director
Ophélie Doria CLM BBDO Strategic Planner
Lauren Weber BBDO Paris Communication Director
David Wilson La Pac Director
Jérôme Denis La Pac Executive Producer
Anna Roudaut La Pac Executive Producer
Antoine Ricard La Pac 1st Assistant Director
Victor Seguin La Pac Director of Photography
Roxane Huet Ferret & Emily Aubry La Pac Editing
Fabrice Damolini Mikros Post producer
Laurent Creusot & Jao M’changama Mikros Flame
Sébastien Mingam & Magalie Léonard Mikros Grading
Raphaël Fruchard THE Sound Producer
Michel Lanternier Society of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Chairman
Emmanuelle Duthu Society of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Director of Communications and Resource Development
Capucine Bataille Society of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Communications Manager
Jean-Charles Mayer Society of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Digital Communications Manager
Alexandre Rabia THE Music supervision
Jérôme Alquier THE Music supervision
Xavier Benoist THE Sound Producer
THE sound design
THE voices recording
THE mix

The Campaign

While some countries are introducing the first companion robots to assist lonely people, the Society of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul raises the question of technology’s legitimacy in a fundamentally human issue like loneliness, to recruit volunteers. The film introduces us to Claudine, an elderly lady who shares her life with B.E.N., a companion robot. At first we’re surprised to see how easily B.E.N. carries out his tasks. Claudine must certainly feel less alone since she acquired the robot. But B.E.N.’s imprecise, mechanical behaviour gradually betrays his social limits. The surprising complicity we thought we saw gives way to the absurdity of this man-machine relationship, leaving the spectator pondering the legitimacy of technology in the fight against social isolation. The film ends with the message: Today, companion robots are being introduced to assist lonely people. At the Society of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, we think that only human beings can help in fighting loneliness. We recruit volunteers.

Creative Execution

The full-length film (5‘18”) was launched in cinemas and on social media, on Saint-Vincent-de-Paul’s saint day (name of the association) in English and French versions. Our ambition was to spread the Society of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul’s vision and raise the question about the place of technology at the expense of human contact in the fight against loneliness. To achieve this, we launched the campaign using Facebook. The film targeted four groups of people close to the issue: Catholics, communicators, technologists and volunteers for other charities. Each group was approached with a special post headline to attract their curiosity and encourage them to react.  To emphasize this Facebook initiative, we also targeted famous influencers on Twitter, with personal messages inviting them to react and spread the word and their opinions within their communities.  The film was also supported in PR by the cultural, tech and lifestyle press, to encourage conversation.

Launched in France first, the film quickly spread overseas, creating an impressive amount of positive feedbacks and more importantly sparkling an important debate on loneliness and how technology affects our lives. The debate quickly took over on social media, press, blogs, radio, newspapers and TV (BFMTV, RMC Découverte, KTO TV, France Ouest, Marie France, Konbini, La Vie, Maddyness, RCF, La Croix, etc.). Thanks to one single film, we managed to bring back on the table a topic nobody really wanted to talk about : the film was broadcast in the University of Political Science of Paris and several French TV channels are already planning to air the film in its full version (5’18”).

We treated this ad like a short film, as captivating and engaging as it could be. Treating loneliness on screen is a tricky exercise. The cinematographic treatment is purposely slow and heavy, but the tension and curiosity brought by the relationship between Claudine and the companion robot created the suspense we needed. We wanted the audience to be on the edge of their seats and take the time to enter Claudine’s lonely life, in order to help the message hit home at the end of the film.

To increase awareness about the Society of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, the strategy was to raise the issue of a very current fact: in 2016, the first companion robots are being widely introduced to assist lonely people. Speaking up on this topic was the opportunity to share the SSVP’s point of view from a new perspective, to challenge public opinion and generate engagement towards potential volunteers.