A new charity campaign for UNICEF depicts refugee children as characters in a video game, highlighting to viewers that their donations could "unlock their potential."
The work, by VaynerMedia London, incudes a spot that uses visuals often seen in video games (such as a heads-up display, or HUD) to show how three refugee children have the potential to become a doctor, author and pilot. Directed by Unit9's Tom Brown, the film's aim is to shift perceptions of refugees and migrants.
UNICEF also created an actual mini video game, together with Gameloft, with the children featuring as the main characters. It's running across Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube as well as via paid banner ads.
"Especially in a COVID world, games and gaming are a great pathway to integration and social inclusion for children and young people," said Codi Trigger, Global Campaign Manager, UNICEF, in a statement. "They are a social equalizer for children, allowing us to focus on what makes children similar, rather than different."
DuBose Cole, Head of Strategy, VaynerMedia London, added: “In a virtual world anything is possible, so this campaign aims to inspire us to think about what more we can possibly do to help children. Using the language of gaming allows us to be bold and imaginative to bring this incredibly important cause to life.”
Earlier this year, UNICEF ran a film that also showed the potential of migrants, profiling a real-life success story: a concert violinist who was once a refugee child.