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In “Songs of Violence,” a campaign that ran for a month in April 2016 in Brazil, the newspaper Estadão teamed up the advertising agency FCB and the domestic violence hotline Disque Denúncia to draw attention to how often we hear these messages–and why unabsorbing or ignoring them should not be the response. Songs of Violence won the advertising award in the 2017 World Changing Idea awards (you can read more about all the finalists below).
Working with Shazam, FCB identified around 300 songs that contain the kind of violence against women described in Brazil’s anti-domestic violence statute Federal Law 11340, called the Lei Maria da Penha for the woman who became a leader of the country’s women’s rights movement after her ex-husband twice attempted to murder her. Once the songs were tagged according to lyrics and the section of the law they corresponded to, Disque Denúncia provided testimonials from real women who had experienced similar abuse. The women who shared their experiences all did so voluntarily, through a hotline set up by FCB and Disque Denúncia. “Just listening to the testimonials was nerve-wracking for us,” Fabio Simoes of FCB tells Fast Company.
We can only imagine what it was like for them–you could still feel the anguish and pain in their voices.”
During the month-long “Songs of Violence” campaign, when someone used Shazam to identify one of the 300 songs tagged by FCB, they would instead hear one such survivor testimonial. Each song was matched with its own testimonial; a banner would cover the phone screen with information about abuse and violence. The campaign reached over a million people, and just 6% chose to download the song after listening to the testimonial.