Tell us about your role in the creation of this work.
Publicis Singapore conceptualized and scripted this film as the fourth instalment of Vicks’ regional Touch of Care platform. It was directed by Alan Harca and produced by Elastic Studios.
Give us an overview of the campaign, what is it about?
Just a Boy is part of a bigger campaign platform called “Touch of Care” that Publicis Singapore created for Vicks in APAC. Two films have been created for India since 2017, and this is the second one in the Philippines. All 4 films have had very strong impact and garnered an impressive number of views and engagement. Touch of Care revolves around the idea that everyone deserves the touch of care, especially those who face life’s greatest difficulties like abandonment, illnesses or disabilities, and even social prejudices.
Tell us about the details creative brief, what did it ask?
As with the other films in the campaign from India and the Philippines, this is about celebrating the transformative power of care and the task was to find the true stories of people whose acts of extraordinary care had a profound impact in the lives they’ve touched.
Which insight led to the creation of this piece of work?
We wanted a film that would truly be relevant to the market we were creating it for, to find a story that truly demonstrated the power of care amidst a situation currently affecting Philippine society.
Recently, HIV incidence in the Philippines has risen at an alarming rate, growing 3,147% in the last 10 years. In 2018 alone, as many 32 people were diagnosed with HIV every day. Many go untreated and unrecorded, especially children. It is a life-threatening disease but not many people know that it can be managed and those who are afflicted with it can live normal lives with treatment and care. The lack of education and open discussion on the disease has led to misconceptions and biases against PLHIV (people living with HIV).
Can you share with us any alternative ideas (if any) for this campaign? Why was this idea chosen?
None, as this was part of a conscious effort as mentioned above.
What was the greatest challenge that you and your team faced during development.
After we came up with the story, the next step was really finding people who have had a similar experience. We were quite surprised that there is one who has actually lived it. The challenge was, in the past 3 films, we made a point of featuring the real people to add credibility to the story. This time, the real Agnes had asked that their true identities not to be revealed in the film, for fear of further discrimination. We knew it already took all her courage to share their story and so we made sure we respected her wishes.
What did you enjoy most about seeing this campaign through? Did you learn anything new from the experience?
There are a lot of sensitivities that we were mindful of while doing this particular film. We had to do a lot of research and consultation regarding the disease and how to handle the topic as this was, if we’re not mistaken, the first time that a spot was made tackling HIV children in the Phil. We didn’t set out to make people cry. We want is to make people care about the issue. And hopefully, change their perceptions and attitudes towards those who are affected by the disease.
Where do you see this campaign going in the future?
True life stories of the everyday heroines and heroes among us and the human capacity to care for someone who isn’t even family to begin with will always serve as an inspiration for the rest of us. Vicks belief in the power of care is timeless.