We love hearing what some of our entrants are up to, so we caught up with former M&M Global winner: This Life Cambodia to find out what winning a Festival of Media Award meant to them, and how they are feeling ahead of the APAC Awards ceremony, where they are in running to win Best Integrated Campaign.
Can you give us a brief introduction to the work you do as part of This Life Cambodia?
I manage the communications team at This Life Cambodia. We’re a small team of three, but in the not-for-profit sector, making a big difference with limited resources is in our blood. We run creative campaigns, create photo and video content, publish collateral, basically whatever it takes to get the word out about the work we are doing. We also use social media to distribute educational content, and this allows us to reach lots of Cambodians – many more than we could reach using traditional face-to-face delivery.
Your campaign ‘Be an Honorable Warrior: A campaign to end domestic violence in Cambodia’ really impressed our judges at M&M Global last year, making the shortlist twice and going on to win the Best Campaign Driven by a Low Budget trophy. Can you tell us a bit more about this award-winning work?
Using the Khmer proverb of the Honourable Warrior, we created a bold, culturally resonant campaign to engage and educate Cambodian men about domestic violence, and to encourage them to oppose it. We wanted to confront the 36% of men who’ve used violence against women, portraying it as “un-Cambodian”, socially shameful and legally punishable. The video that formed the centerpiece of the campaign was viewed 1.3 million times and shared 13,000 times. The campaign reached 2 million Cambodians or 1 in 8 of the population. We did this with a budget of 4,500 USD.
Do you remember what it felt like when you found out you had won? Pipping global brands such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Fnatic and Priceline Pharmacy to the post?
Yes! It was amazing, and when our name was read out, we couldn’t quite believe it! A campaign from regional Cambodia that cost 4,500 USD beating Jean Paul Gaultier? We were stunned and delighted. It goes to show that anything is possible, and it’s possible to do great things with very little.
What was your team’s reaction when you told them the good news?
Everyone was watching live, so I didn’t need to tell them! We had a massive cheer that raised the office roof! The Festival of Media Awards is so exciting and everyone at This Life Cambodia gets involved. It’s great because each year, every staff member is involved in the social media element of our campaign to end gender-based violence.
Are you looking forward to the Festival of Media APAC Awards Ceremony, which is taking place next month?
Absolutely! We love the fact that these events are online as this means every staff member can join in the fun! The Awards Ceremonies are always fun, and the dancing host was a big hit with our Cambodian staff members who thought he was very entertaining.
Your campaign ‘Not Her Fault’ has made the 2021 Festival of Media APAC shortlist. The competition is truly fierce within the Integrated Campaign category, with Gillette, Ben & Jerry’s, Rexona and Lifebuoy also joining the list. Do you think you have what it takes to take home the Gold?
This is the first time we have entered the Integrated Campaign category. We entered it because we thought it would give us the best chance to showcase the work we had done integrating social media and a website. We are really proud of the Not Her Fault campaign, and of course, we’d love to win! The best thing about being shortlisted is that it provides more exposure to gender-based violence and the insidious culture of victim-blaming in Cambodia.
The competitors within the Integrated Campaign category are made up of large network agencies, such as MediaCom, OMD, PHD and Mindshare. What advice would you give other smaller scale independent organisations that are thinking of entering work at Festival of Media?
Do it! Entering the Festival of Media awards is a great way to benchmark the work you are doing against industry giants. We have limited resources to reward staff financially for the work that they do, but the recognition we receive through the Festival of Media is a fantastic way to publicly acknowledge them. Winning awards is also great for morale. Our success in the Festival of Media Awards over the past three years shows that anything is possible, even for a not-for-profit organisation with a media team of three based in Siem Reap, Cambodia!