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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards


Bronze Honor in Video Ad


The Heat Initiative is a collective effort of concerned child safety experts and advocates encouraging leading technology companies to detect and eradicate child sexual abuse images and videos on their platforms. “Rotten” is part of a campaign targeting Apple’s leadership that points at their negligence in preventing CSAM proliferation on iCloud. “Rotten” is a simple visual metaphor of the rot taking hold at Apple thanks to their inaction on the issue of Child Sexual Abuse Material and its proliferation. The lived experiences featured in the ad are those of real survivor stories, “Rotten” pulls down the pristine veil that’s Apple façade, to expose the reality of an unchecked and unbeknownst universe of abuse and trafficking of illegal imagery, “Rotten” champions children and survivors as the ones holding Apple accountable. “Rotten” was created for multiple reasons, one: as a show of unity and strength to Apple, bringing together a coalition of survivors and advocates to speak with one voice,  Two: expose Apple’s conscious inaction on the issue,  three: make the issue of CSAM proliferation simple to understand by appealing to emotion, show people it is a moral issue first and foremost. Four: Engage the public, particularly the tech industry, and increase the momentum on the issue of CSAM and Heats overall mission.

Strategy and Execution

The Heat Initiative understands they are facing a mighty opponent. Only shows of strength, unity and resources can make a dent in Apple’s position as a beloved brand, and get Apple’s leadership attention. “Rotten” includes the stories of child sexual abuse survivors and declarations of Apple’s own executives that lay the issue flat, the Apple ecosystem is “the largest platform for distributing child porn”. 

“Rotten” was to be made public parallel to the senate hearings on child safety online, boosting the relevance of the issue and highlighting Apple’s absence in the hearing and overall conversation. Lastly “Rotten” would serve as a vehicle to reach news media, in opposition to Apple’s sponsorship of the Super Bowl’s halftime show, leveraging newsworthy moments like the NFC championship to bring the issue of CSAM to the forefront of the technology development conversation. 



“Rotten” is still an active asset on Heat Initiative’s communications, however the results have been bigger than expected so far, the ad has been very well received amongst experts and advocates, has strengthen the ties of the coalition Heat is building, and has delivered attainable results, garnering press attention and driving an uptick on actions taken to support Heat’s mission.

– Aired during NFC Championship Game on Fox, reaching an estimated 1.3 Million in the bay area
– Over 3 million views on Instagram, X and Youtube 
– Exclusive article on “The Drum”
– Selected amongst The Drum’s “Ads of the week”
– Ad mentioned in The New York Times senate hearing report
–  Uptick in actions taken, six thousand more emails to Apple in the two weeks following the airing of the ad (Jan 28, 2024). From 11000 signed letters to Apple between September, 2023 and January, 2024 to 17000 by Feb 10, 2024
– Apple’s absence from the Jan 21 senate hearings highlighted in the press and during the senate hearing  itself.



Video for Rotten

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Soze, Heat Initiative


Entry Credits