The FMBE awards – my personal top100, number 3

3. Out of the Blue, The Helen Bamber Foundation (2008, Innovative Campaign)

Did you hear the one about shipping containers and the event that travelled from city to city? No, not the 2010-11 Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange, but instead a 2007 terrible tale of sweat, sickness and sex.

In 2007 connected shipping containers appeared in Trafalgar Square each decorated with graffiti. Inside them, the story of a life. It was a life that used art to shock visitors to the core.

The Helen Bamber Foundation campaigns against trafficking women. The problem was below the radar back in 2006. After this campaign that changed.

Out of the Blue leveraged leading artists to create the work, called ‘The Journey’ including the centrepiece, a hydraulic bed that smells of vomit and juddered to the rhythm of hurried sex – an installation by Sam Roddick.

The Journey wasn’t all bleak though. It showed what action might be taken to stop sex traffic in its last container, curated by actress and chair of the Foundation, Emma Thompson.

Thompson proved herself to be the ultimate brand ambassador, leaning on her well connected friends for a visible show of support that made this lesser known charity into a must attend event. Where Dustin Hoffman, Ben Elton and Alan Rickman led, so Ken Livingstone, David Cameron Jacqui Smith and Tessa Jowell followed.

This was one of the first live charity campaigns to focus on influence ahead of donation and to focus on the in depth engagement of 12,000 people. The Journey itself was invited on by the UN to Vienna and New York.

2,500,000 saw the installation. £1.5M in editorial value was achieved. 20,000 signed a petition to Government to ratify a Convention against Trafficking

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