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From the 13th Annual Shorty Awards

I May Destroy You - Gathering the Pieces

Entered in Online Event/Activation, Instagram, Live Streaming Video


To create a campaign to promote HBO’s new series, “I MAY DESTROY YOU,” which premiered on June 7, 2020. 

Tasked with how to amplify a never-before-seen series that tells a very personal story of Michaela Coel’s sexual assault and trauma, we knew we had to do something groundbreaking and seemingly contradictory: we wanted to create a safe space to explore the deeply personal themes of the show, while simultaneously amplifying and creating buzz around it. To us, creating a safe space for these public discussions meant using social media as a platform to spark intimate conversation about the themes of Coel’s story, and to turn these discussions into easily accessible resources for consumers. 

Strategy and Execution

With live events + in-person meetings cancelled, we met our audience where they were at - on social media. By hosting these meaningful conversations via instagram live + twitter watchparties, we were able to engage our demographic with little to no paid media spend. 

Through a careful vetting + interview process, we curated our “host committee” of influencers, activists, therapists, writers and entrepreneurs, who led the conversations around the themes in “I MAY DESTROY YOU”. Bringing a group of powerhouse BIPOC together to host these conversations was incredibly successful: not only did their involvement increase the visibility of the campaign, it also deepened its impact. 

From the get-go, we knew that to truly hold and create a safe space for conversations around mental health + wellness for minority communities, we needed to engage partners whose mission was to do the same. Our partnerships with Therapy for Black Girls, Refinery29 Unbothered and NewFest Film Festival were incredibly fruitful and were mutually beneficial. These partnerships became even more meaningful at the beginning of June when the need for mental health resources for Black + Brown communities became even more pressing.



Audience Response 

“Thank you for all of your gifts in lifting our spirits, increasing our knowledge & creating a safe space for us to be ourselves and take care of our mental health in the process.”

“[gathering the pieces] is excellent! connecting a new dope show #IMayDestroyYou with relevant content from Black Creatives. talk about using your platform and changing the narrative!!!” 

“I look at the pieces i’ve learned about myself as parts of the beautiful mosaic that makes up this beautiful, messy life I’m living.” 


In support of the themes and experiences reflected in HBO’s series I MAY DESTROY YOU, HBO developed “Gathering the Pieces,” to elevate the conversation, raise awareness of the topics depicted in the series, provide expert POVs as well as resources to Black and Queer communities. The campaign focused on dating, friendships, relationships, sexual wellness and freedom, trauma and therapy, self-love/care and kicked off with a robust influencer seeding kit that reflected these themes. Conversations were then hosted and made widely available by a curated group of influencers and experts on Instagram Live, which brought these important themes to life through shared experiences, engaging content and a resource hub for trauma services. Through our brand + influencer partnerships and conversations that stemmed from them, we were able to authentically hold + create space for underrepresented communities at a time when it was sorely needed.


Video for I May Destroy You - Gathering the Pieces

Entrant Company / Organization Name

HBO (brand), Verb (agency), CCNYC (agency), Therapy For Black Girls (organization), The Loveland Foundation (organization)


Entry Credits