‘Chime for Change’ has a nice ring to it. In three words, it manages to express both intent and action. However, little is known in Pakistan about this decades-old Gucci campaign launched in 2013 to support gender equity. Its vision – as stated on the website – is to “inspire participation in a collective community, bringing people together across borders and generations in the fight for equality”.
Gucci Chime’s website, reporting on the campaign’s success says, “Today the campaign has raised $21.5 million to support nearly 500 projects around the globe directly serving 635,000 women and girls.” It partners with local organisations to give a deeper meaning to the idea of change.
Last year’s ‘Chime for Change’ campaign was devoted to equality for black women. The current campaign, through a series of short films, covers a wider cross-section of issues related to equality. The videos feature a diverse range of actors and activists committing themselves to “chime for change”. Prominent celebrities who make an appearance include Julia Roberts, Salma Hayek, Idris Elba, Serena Williams and Alia Bhatt, among others.
“What do you chime for?” is the question posed to the celebrities. While Julia Roberts responds with, “I chime for gender equality”, other answers include “I chime for women’s empowerment” and “for equality amongst all”. The concern is clearly equality or equity and the celebrities broaden the scope to include equality for transgenders and the differently abled women among other groups facing discrimination. The messages that come across are strong and passionate, delivered by those with a clear empathy for those denied equality.
What makes this campaign special for Pakistanis is that the short videos are directed by filmmaker, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy who also happens to be a Chime advisory board member. The House of Gucci made the right choice in assigning Obaid-Chinoy the newest ‘Chime for Change’ campaign. She is known for her sustained commitment to gender equality through documentaries that have focused on violence and discrimination against women in Pakistan. Her outstanding and award-winning documentaries include Saving Face and Girl in the River. They won her Oscars as well as an Emmy. With ‘Chime for Change’, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has once again demonstrated her versatility in approaching her themes.
A campaign produced by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy should have garnered greater viewership. Perhaps Gucci didn’t invest enough in promoting it on social or other media. If adequately supported it would definitely have achieved better results and shared widely. Nevertheless, to quote the filmmaker, “I hope this campaign will reinvigorate conversations around the world, so that everyone feels the urgency to contribute towards creating a more gender equal future.”
Zohra Yusuf is Chief Creative Officer, Spectrum VMLY&R.