Many Ukraine-based ad agencies have stopped all client work since the Russian invasion started last week, and instead are focused on helping the Ukraine government with its communications and advertising efforts for the war and fighting disinformation that they say has been spread by Russia.
“We are ready to fight to the death, [for our freedom]” Igor Potievsky, CEO of Kyiv-based digital agency Mediahead said, explaining the mindset of Ukrainians as Russia continues to invade the country.
Over the past two days, Ad Age interviewed executives from six Ukraine-based agencies to give their first-hand perspective on what is happening in the country, how they are helping the war efforts, evading danger, and to get their perspective on how other countries can help.
“Creative teams, account managers, and all who can work are now creating content that highlights the ugly truths of this war - disassembling the fictional reality designed and upheld by Russian propaganda,” said Yurii Gladkyi, founder and CEO at creative marketing agency Grape.
Several agencies—including Banda Agency, Grape, and Bickerstaff.734—are working with the Ukraine government to target Russians who they say may not know the truth about the attacks. Campaigns are also targeted towards citizens of Belarus who have recently began to support Russia’s invasion efforts.
Ukraine agency ISD Group put together a global brief that serves as a call to action for creatives to create campaigns in support of Ukraine, with one line stating: “Your work may not win Cannes, but it will help save the lives of millions.”
Kyiv-based agency Banda created a compilation of videos and photos taken from across the internet and shot on phones, that show the destruction that Ukraine citizens are facing. The video includes a voiceover that starts with the line, “Ukraine is now, and now is special.” The video goes on to call viewers to action and ends with the words “Ukraine now is all of us.”