“How can we use story to turn an issue that nobody wants to engage with into something gripping; something that is binge-worthy.” That was the question that drove this podcast.
After spending years creating short-form social campaigns to try and raise desperately needed awareness and action on OSEC (the Online Sexual Exploitation of Children), we came to the conclusion that we needed to try something out of the box.
‘The Fight of My Life: Finding Ruby’ is a six-part immersive podcast series that delves deep into the journey of Ruby, an inspiring 16-year-old who emerged from the darkest recesses of online sex trafficking to find justice, healing, and redemption.
Through the podcast, agency Creative Director, Rich Thompson, unravels one of the fastest-growing, and most concealed crimes of our time. This is a topic many have shied away from, given its intricate nature, vast reach, and unsettling content. However, through Ruby’s incredible tale - and the side stories of those real-life heroes who’ve dedicated themselves to fight for her – the podcast has made engaging with the issue not just accessible – but something you want to listen to.
The goal is not simply mass exposure; we aspire to ignite a community of advocates who conscientiously engage with the fight against OSEC. We aim to foster a sphere of influence where each listener becomes a catalyst for meaningful action.
In a media landscape dominated by two-minute videos and snappy social posts, we invite listeners to embark on an immersive journey. Through our commitment to long-form storytelling, we want to build an authentic connection with Ruby, feel her emotions, and empathize with her struggles. We strive not only to inform but to transform.
While many non-profit organizations opt for documentary-style or conversational podcasts, we chose to merge the allure of true crime with the urgency of social justice. Our narrative-driven approach brings the issue of OSEC into a profoundly personal and memorable space, resulting in a captivating experience.
The creation of “Finding Ruby” was a labor of love and commitment. OSEC, shrouded in mystery with minimal online information, necessitated that we venture into the heart of the Philippines - prisons, recovery center, police stations, courtrooms, you name it. This firsthand knowledge gathering allowed us to introduce a unique feature – sidebar interviews with subject matter experts and other individuals connected to Ruby’s story. These interviews provide a broader context, enabling us to zoom out, dissect complex issues, and then zoom back into the narrative with greater understanding.
We understand that confronting a distressing topic like OSEC may lead people to avert their gaze. Therefore, we meticulously crafted each episode to provide a sense of safety and hope, ensuring listeners can engage comfortably while recognizing that hope and justice lie ahead.
Since its release, ‘Finding Ruby’ has not only ranked fourth among true crime podcasts in the Philippines but also garnered 30,000 downloads and counting amongst a global audience. It has featured at major events and on prestigious news outlets across the globe. But again, the goal of the podcast is not simply mass-market appeal. We are after the individual’s heart – for deep transformation and commitment to fight. And that is what we’ve seen. Ruby’s story has spurred a diverse array of listeners, from students to CEOs, to step up in the battle against OSEC using their unique resources and platforms.
Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, shared Ruby’s story on a global stage at the 2022 Singapore Fintech Festival (64,000 attendees), recognizing its potential for tangible transformation. NFL legend Mark Herzlich endorsed our podcast in People Magazine, while Martie Datu dedicated a portion of her business profits to support the International Justice Mission. College student Ashley Entwhistle created a ‘Finding Ruby’ discussion guide which will roll out on campuses across the United States in Fall 2023.
These examples are a testament to how ‘Finding Ruby’ not only alters perspectives but also empowers individuals to take action against OSEC each in their unique way.
This podcast journey has been a profound one, and Ruby’s story continues to grip hearts and inspire collective action.