Every year, thousands of girls are bound into sexual slavery. Many are trafficked to major sporting events around the United States. The average age these girls is fourteen.
We partnered with the End It Movement to raise awareness about the horrors of sex trafficking. The plan: disrupt the Final Four basketball tournament by viscerally exposing the reality of the sex trade that happens around it. The stunt is predicated on a simple idea – if you could see it, would you end it? We stripped away the solid sides of a box truck and replaced them with glass – revealing the brutal realities of human trafficking – as the truck was filled with actors portraying women who had been sold into sexual slavery. This scene moved through the crowds outside the Final Four basketball tournament, interrupting the revelry with a cold look at the truth. Dirty, bruised and terrified women were shown as captives.
Crowds were within inches of the scene, forced to confront an ugly reality. The reactions ranged from shock to outrage to heartbreak and the media and social response was swift and dramatic. The story was immediately picked up by news organizations, social sites, blogs, and journalists worldwide. In less than two days, the related YouTube video had racked up over 150 thousand hits and was climbing by 2k-3k hits daily from organic non-promoted, nonpaid views. Then something unexpected happened. The day after the event, the FBI launched a sting operation targeting sex traffickers. So while we are proud of our marketing numbers, here are the numbers that count: twenty-one arrested for child exploitation. Seven children rescued. Hopefully, this is just the beginning.
Agency: Sapient Nitro, Atlanta
Broadcast on April 6, 2013