The Hunting Ground documentary sounded the alarm on a national crisis: 1 in 5 women in college will be sexually assaulted. Swell was brought on to amplify the film’s urgent call for action. We re-started the social media feed and started to own the conversation around sexual assault on campus, growing our social reach 1,000 percent in the first several days. With a social media and email strategy firmly taking root, we turned our attention to releasing the official music video for Lady Gaga and Diane Warren’s haunting “Til it Happens to You.” Within 24 hours the music video had received 7 million views. In the months after its release, more than 30 million people had seen the video sparking a 34 percent increase in calls to the national rape hotline.
TIL IT HAPPENS TO YOU
Swell helped to amplify Lady Gaga’s show-stopping performance of the Academy Award-nominated Hunting Ground theme song. As a result, the performance, which featured 50 survivors of sexual assault, has been hailed as one of the most memorable Oscar moments ever. With more than 22,000 new It’s On Us pledges, 26,000 iTunes downloads and over two million new views of the music video, we spread the word that we need to change the culture.
With huge institutions smearing the documentary (and the victims featured in it), we used social media to fight back and correct the record. When survivor Erica Kinsman was besieged by football fans, we released her story and our #standwitherica campaign reached four million people and helped change the narrative.
Documentaries illuminate important issues, but in order to translate that into action you need a community of activists. We grew from 6,000 likes when we came on to 53,000, with a reach of 800,000 on Facebook, alone. We then directed those highly engaged supporters towards the CNN premiere of the film, more than 1,000 campus screenings and social action.