Inclusion and diversity are fundamental tenets of how Twitter acts as a company. One important component of this is empowering and celebrating women around the world, a cause which we call #SheInspiresMe.
Prior to this project, our #SheInspiresMe messaging had been focused on repurposing existing content, published at culturally relevant dates such as International Women's Day. But we wanted to make this much bigger. We wanted to find a way to massively expand awareness of, and engagement in, this important cause to empower and celebrate international women.
To make an impact, the brief required different thinking to what had gone before: create an original piece of content, widely shared and loved, that generates its own audience spike and doesn't just rely on existing cultural moments for distribution. Success would be judged by viewership, engagement, and sentiment.
As owners of Twitter's global, consumer-facing channels — which includes @Twitter, plus our presence on Instagram and Facebook — we have a personal responsibility to communicate the company's principles in our storytelling. Executing effectively on that responsibility has the potential to trigger cultural and social benefits for people around the world. In short, our ambition is to create content that improves people's everyday lives.
Above all for this piece of content, we wanted to empower and celebrate inspiring and aspiring international women, as part of our journey to improve how inclusion and diversity can create new norms for how the world acts.
Our strategy was to create an emotive made-for-mobile video featuring a powerful original poem by Denice Frohman, overlaid with portraits of international women shot by photographer Emily Winiker.
We identified Cannes Lions as the perfect opportunity to create this piece — a high volume of influential figures would be attending. We wanted to do something different to the norm, not just another round of video interviews with industry players extolling their thoughts on the year ahead. Something distinctive and creatively original, that would stand out when watched on mobile.
So we created an event: a #SheInspiresMe brunch, with guests invited from the worlds of entertainment, media, and advertising. Welcomed in person by our CEO Jack Dorsey and CMO Leslie Berland, the gathering resulted in a unique collaboration that highlights an exquisite mix of leaders, innovators, artists, activists, and celebrities including Charli XCX, Alicia Silverstone, and Mena Suvari.
We commissioned poet Denice Frohman to create an original work that she performed at the brunch. Our working partnership with Denice delivered a poem that explores the key traits that empower women.
The guests were invited to have their portrait — captured as stills and motion — taken by our photographer Emily Winiker. She captured these women as they are — bold, fearless, and authentic. The studio, in the heart of our outdoor event space, enticed people to participate.
Our hero video put this all together: the words of Denice Frohman's new poem, overlaying the portraits of over 50 inspiring and aspiring international women.
Our publishing strategy included:
Auxiliary content extended the campaign. People at the brunch were asked to share what inspires them, which we turned into a series of GIFs. These were published in the days after the hero video.
This content was truly global, reflecting the diversity that abounds when women unite: created in London, in partnership with a poet and photographer from New York, shot in Cannes featuring international women, and distributed to the world via Twitter's global channels.
The effectiveness of this content exceeded our expectations, outperforming all other x-channel organic content we've published this year, and generating positive sentiment. It delivered on our objectives and then some — raising awareness of #SheInspiresMe to a massive new audience and driving engagement in the cause.
The video was published organically and generated significant earned media, without paid media.
Our follow-up "x inspires me" GIFs were published on Instagram:
In total across all channels, there were over 30 million impressions, with 500,000 engagements.
The video delivered 1.2 million views organically, with 840,000 video views coming on Twitter alone.
Drop-off rates far outstripped other content we've posted in the last year. Our 55% completion rate on Instagram was our best-performing post to date on that channel.
We're proud to have created this piece to connect and empower women, and thrilled for it have received such love around the world. It's content with a clear purpose, creativity with effect. A piece of content that empowers women to speak without permission, to tell their own story, to make history. As the final line of Denice Frohman's powerful poem says: "This is how you create a new world."