Unicef’s video game-inspired spot turns refugees into heroes

Campaign aims to change perception of refugees and migrant children.

Refugee children are the heroes of Unicef’s latest campaign, which encourages the UK public to change their perception of migrants.

Created by VaynerMedia London, “Reimagine the world like a gamer” follows the experience of three refugees – Nora, Sama and Pouya – as they “unlock” skills and work towards their goals of becoming a doctor, an author and a pilot, respectively.

The campaign launches today (15 September) across Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, alongside a mini game created with Gameloft.

The execution was written by Esin Huseyin, art directed by Davide Mauroni and directed by Tom Brown through Unit9. Media is handled by The Kite Factory.

“We want to pioneer an incredibly important message: that despite their situations, these children have astounding potential and we can help them to achieve it,” Codi Trigger, global campaign manager at Unicef, said.

“They have an incredible amount to give to society and their local communities when provided with the right support."

This campaign is part of Unicef’s brand positioning, which aims to portray children in need as "strong and powerful" in an attempt to better connect with the British public.

Trigger continued: “Especially in a Covid world, games and gaming are a great pathway to integration and social inclusion for children and young people – they are a social equaliser for children, allowing us to focus on what makes children similar, rather than different. 

“Just like migration, games are transnational and appealing to children of diverse backgrounds. They create a fun and comfortable environment to start learning acceptance.”

In June, Unicef launched a spot following the life of Aboud Kaplo – a former refugee who became a concert violinist – to celebrate World Refugee Day (20 June).

Last week, (9 September), Unicef announced that it was reviewing its UK media planning and buying requirements, following a change in senior management.


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