The Best Work You May Never See: UNAIDS, FCB India & Chicago Team On "Unbox Me" Initiative For Trans Children

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Robert Goldrich
Thursday, Mar. 31, 2022

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March 31 marks the Transgender Day of Visibility, a day to spread awareness about both the struggles and the successes of the trans community
“Unbox Me” is a project by FCB India & FCB Chicago that addresses the isolation and marginalization of trans children, which often begins within their own families
Influential personalities and community leaders are unboxing the hidden childhood treasures of transgender people on social media, to create awareness and demand acceptance
 

In the lead-up to the International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and FCB have partnered to launch “Unbox Me,” an initiative aimed at raising awareness for the rights of transgender children by empowering them to stop hiding their identities and embrace their true selves. Part of the #SeeMeAsIAm campaign, “Unbox Me” is the latest collaborative effort from UNAIDS and FCB, whose ongoing partnership also included “The Mirror” in 2021.

“Unbox Me” is a creative exploration of the theme of secrecy and hiding, and the campaign aims to spotlight the struggles of transgender children, like their being closeted and their discomfort with their assigned gender, many as early as the age of two.

Swati Bhattacharya, FCB India’s creative chairperson, who conceptualized this campaign, said, “In India, children usually have a box which they use to store their most precious possessions. In the case of trans children, however, they need to hide their box of treasures, since some of their most precious possessions don’t fit the gender norm that society expects them to conform to.”

She added: ““Unbox Me” shows exactly that, every box opened revealed someone’s true self. We sent these boxes to prominent people in the community, who then unboxed them on their social media feeds, sharing their feelings and thoughts as the reality of countless children suppressing their spirit became a tangible reality one could experience.” The videos are a play on popular unboxing videos, in which people unpack gadgets and toys. Only this time, the unboxings have a much deeper meaning.

UNAIDS and FCB played on the theme of trans children being no different than any child who loves creating hiding places and what their hidden possessions reveal about that child’s identity, preferences and dreams. For trans children, the act of hiding treasures becomes a way of hiding their identity from disapproving eyes. “Unbox Me” is an effort to symbolically unbox their secrets to the world and open the conversation for so many transgender children out there — not just in India, but everywhere.

The creation of “Unbox Me” is a partnership between FCB’s India and Chicago offices, exemplifying how FCB brings together talent and expertise across its global network to create impactful work, work that addresses a global topic.

This film reflects and explains the “Unbox Me” campaign.

Credits

Client UNAIDS Mahesh Mahalingam, director, communications and global advocacy Agency FCB Danio Boer, global creative partner; Swati Bhattacharya, chief creative officer, FCB India; Andrés Ordóñez, chief creative officer, FCB Chicago; Anusheela Saha, group creative director, FCB India; Tim Schoenmaeckers, Niels Sienaert, VPs, creative directors, FCB Chicago; John Bleeden, executive creative producer, FCB Chicago; Kizie Base, VP strategy, FCB India; Michele Morales, SVP design director, FCB Chicago; Megan Musgrave, assoc. design director, FCB Chicago; Anita Koltun, producer, FCB Chicago. Agency Lord + Thomas Kerry Hill, EVP, head of production N.A.; Roman Mendez, SVP, studio director; Steve Immer, VP, director of editing; Alec Chojnancki, audio mixer; Caleb Hill, color; Daniel Witkin, assistant editor. Production Vikram Khushwa, photographer; Anas Ali Khan, DP; Alisha Dsouza, sr. producer, Fuel Content. Music JSM

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