Case Study: Together Forward at Work – A Show of Hands

By Chris Hercik, CEO, HEVĒ

Let’s be honest, 2020 rocked the workforce. Alongside COVID-19, issues of workplace bias, discrimination, inequality and other social injustices were brought to the forefront.

As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) wanted to play its part in helping to combat racial inequality in the workplace and wider America, and looked to HEVĒ to help.

We asked ourselves, what if we only focused on hands? The hands that built America’s workforce. The hands that fight to make us better. The hands that clasp to hold us together?

A passionate call to action, the A Show of Hands spot encouraged Americans to move forward together, to build a nation of inclusion and a workforce that is as diverse as the hands that built it. Because now more than ever, it takes many hands to change the world of work into a world of work that works for all.

HEVĒ’s core creative idea was derived from this and spoke to the notion that our hands don’t need to look the same to be together.

We subsequently launched #TogetherForwardAtWork, a multi-channel campaign that aims to encourage SHRM’s audience of executives, HR professionals, people managers and emerging professionals to commit to eradicating racial inequality in their workplaces, and provide them with the resources to do so. HEVĒ executed the creative ideation and development, script writing, direction, and video production support to create a :60, :30 and :15 spot to be used across linear, web and social.

We carefully selected a diverse cast of 15 hand models to feature in the spot, who quite literally showed their hands.

Artfully captured in partnership with renowned photographer James Macari (Vogue, GQ, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Glamour, Marie Claire, Elle UK) over one day at Butter Tree Studios in NJ (shot during COVID-19, we ensured strict protocols were adhered to throughout the day), the hands carried messages such as ‘break barriers’ and ‘stand together,’ while others leveraged props including LGBTQ wristbands. They showcased the diversity of our workforce and acted as a true representation of what one nation really means.

The A Show of Hands spot has seen 76.2M+ impressions across linear networks & OTT placements includingCNN, ESPN, ABC – Good Morning America, Fox News, Fox Business and CNBC.

The Script:

These are the hands of our nation Proud… Diverse… These are the hands that taught our children, raised our leaders, fought for freedoms, defended our country… And that today contribute to the most productive, inventive, industrious workforce in the world.

These same hands push the bounds of acceptance, tear down the barriers of resistance, hold us up when we need it, point out injustice when we see it, come together in union and stay together in unity. These hands can build a nation of inclusion, a workforce that is as diverse as the hands that built it.

That empowers our teams, lifts up our communities, rewrites our future to understand what one nation really means. It takes many hands to change the world of work into a world of work that works for all. Now more than ever, we need a show of hands… To move forward TOGETHER.

For maximum impact, the spot was produced so that the visuals lined up with this narrated script. For example, as a prosthetic hand amputee appears on screen, we hear the narrator state “And that today contribute to the most productive, inventive, industrious workforce in the world.”

HEVĒ was responsible for all campaign photography, managed distribution of the spot, namely all media planning and buying, and was behind the development of the Together Forward at Work website, an important resource for SHRM’s audience.

About Chris Hercik

Chris is an innovative creative executive with over 20 years in media and publishing, where he has overseen teams that leverage custom creative and marketing solutions across platforms.

A two-time Emmy and three-time Webby award winner, he founded and built The Foundry at Meredith (formerly Time Inc.).

As the CEO of branded content studio and content marketing agency, HEVĒ, Chris is dedicated to crafting ‘performance creative’ that is data-fueled, narrative-led, innovation-inspired, and designed to deliver higher levels of engagement and value for brands.

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