2021 Winner

Canadian Centre for Child Protection

Lolli: The Exhibit Nobody Wants To Talk About

No Fixed Address

SilverCause/Public Service

How do you raise awareness of an issue that Canadians make every effort to avoid? Online platforms that encourage content sharing have resulted in wide distribution of child pornography or child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

The horrific reality of child pornography and sexual assault is so deplorable that it triggers a reaction in people to recoil from the topic, most avoiding it all together. Consequently, little is done to curb the online epidemic of child pornography as people would rather hide their heads in the sand.

Without public pressure, governments and corporations are less likely to take action to remove the millions upon millions instances of child sexual abuse content that is flagged every year. With the goal of putting pressure on government and industry, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection tasked the agency with helping to raise public awareness of the global child pornography epidemic by engaging Canadians in a topic they make every effort to avoid.

The cryptic language used by child sex offenders could be weaponized against them. Child sex offenders rely on online platforms to communicate and share CSAM content. Like many other interest groups, they have their own distinctive cultural features such as language, codes, and behaviours. Cryptic language is prominent amongst criminal groups since it is used to disguise their nefarious intentions. Their research revealed that the term “lolli” is used as online code by child sex offenders to reference to victims of child sexual abuse and facilitate the sharing of CSAM content.

The discovery of this specific term (lolli) became their insight for engaging Canadians in a topic they made every effort to avoid. Given its horrific role in victimizing children, coupled with a lollipop’s inherent association with childhood innocence, made lollipops the perfect proxy to broach the conversation of child sexual abuse. Their insight was to appropriate the term “lolli” and weaponize it against the deplorable online culture Canadians make every effort to avoid.

Capitalizing on the trend of fun and carefree Instagrammable installations, they created a high-impact visual installation with a design theme inspired by the lollipop to draw consumers into the experience, then confront them with the realities of this global epidemic. Their initiative was titled “Lolli: The Exhibit Nobody Wants To Talk About.”

They lined the interior of an industrial container-sized room at Stackt Market in Toronto (a local marketplace known for artisan vendors and exhibits) with 10,824 lollipops: one representing each new image of child pornography detected online every 12 hours.
To create buzz and to launch the exhibit, they invited national media and influencers to get a first look and start spreading the message of the horrible epidemic. Coverage from major outlets across the country started flooding newsfeeds and creating intrigue.

Following the media day, they opened to the public. Those who did not see the previous coverage were drawn to Lolli’s fun and vibrant-looking exterior, intrigued by what it might be. Once inside, the public became immersed in the size and scale of the problem. Staggering statistics lined the walls along with verbatim quotes found from offenders on the dark web. Audio recordings from actual survivors detailed their pain, shame, and hope/optimism for a solution. To ensure visitors left with a deeper understanding of the issue, spokespeople from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection were positioned at the exit to help outline the efforts of the centre and provide some comfort in knowing that the problem was being addressed.

Over the course of three days, 1,300 Canadians visited Lolli, including Toronto Mayor, John Tory. National news outlets such as the CBC, Global News and CityNews shot live-to-air segments and photoshoots inside Lolli. Even the New York Times rushed down a photographer to capture the experience in advance of releasing a three-part Sunday feature.

To date, the initiative has achieved over 4,500,000 social media and 125,000,000+ earned media impressions with a 580% increase in site traffic, where people learned about the issue and donated to show support.

Most importantly, the added awareness caught the attention of industry leaders and government officials, starting conversations on how everyone can work together to protect children and begin the fight against this global epidemic.

Josh Budd, Chief Creative Officer, NFA
Dave Federico, Chief Creative Officer, NFA
Randy De Melo, ACD, Art Director, NFA
Ryan Chiasson, ACD, Writer, NFA
David Glen, Art Director, Freelance
Lee Cristiano, Copywriter, NFA
Kristen Neamtz, Producer, Freelance
Josie Daga, Account Director, NFA
Adam Eliesen, Account Supervisor, NFA
Dino Demopoulos, Chief Strategy Officer, NFA
Katie Muir, PR Lead, NFA
Erin Banting, Senior Manager, PR, NFA
HeydSaffer, Production Company
Ben Robinson, Producer, HeydSaffer
Adrian Cheung, Line Producer, HeydSaffer
Bruce Ellis, Print Producer, HeydSaffer
Jono Lawley, Director of Photography, HeydSaffer
16Tonnes, Build and Fabrication
Lachlan Brown, Production Designer & Art Director, 16Tonnes
Lindsay Duplessis, Production Designer & Art Director, 16Tonnes
Westside Studios, Production Company
Nikki Omerod, Photographer, Westside Studios
Married to Giants, Production Company
Julie Axell, Executive Producer, Married to Giants
Monica Remba, Senior Editor, Married to Giants
Naseem Loloie, Assistant Editor, Married to Giants
Alter Ego, Post-Production Company
Jane Garrah, Senior Post Producer, Alter Ego
Joel Osis, VFX Artist, Alter Ego
Alex Beals, VFX Assistant, Alter Ego
Conor Fisher, Senior Colourist, Alter Ego
Erik Bayley, Colour Assistant, Alter Ego

Have questions? Need help?
Contact Rowan Traynor at 1-416-408-2300 x213 or rtraynor@brunico.com.