The Who Are You agency opened its doors to the public in 2019 in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. In 2021, a very successful year for us, the number of customers and team members grew, and just before New Year’s Eve we signed several new contracts. We had great plans for 2022. Some days before the war, I returned from a business trip to Odessa, where we had launched a new project with a customer and signed one more contract.
Everything changed on Feb. 24, 2022. I woke up at 5 a.m. because of explosions. The war had started. It was very frightening, but there was no time to panic. Having made sure that all our colleagues were safe, Olia, our project manager, and I sent emails to customers to tell them we would keep in touch.
The next days passed as if in a fog. When the initial panic and fear eased, we came together to discuss what was going to happen to the agency and what we as creative specialists could do during the war. We could stop and stay in a state of uncertainty, step back and close the agency to wait for better times, or we could fight, using our skills and experience in creativity and communications to resist the enemy. We chose to fight.
With a new goal of helping our country, we started fighting on the information front, implementing projects that would help Ukrainians and keep people informed about the war. It all started with Stand with Ukraine, which we created with our partners, the Svitsoft and Top Dog marketing agencies. During the first month of the war, we posted more than 400 videos and raised more than $900,000 for Ukraine. Working was very hard; I operated out of a bomb shelter, searching for an internet connection to coordinate editing and scripts and set new tasks for our team.