Digital agency, TVGLa Digital Agency has turned infographics that highlight the issues of the criminal justice system into a series of .30 second ads to promote SPIKE’s TIME: The Kalief Browder Story.
The six-part documentary series, follows the story of Kalief Browder, a 16–year-old boy who was arrested in New York for allegedly stealing a backpack. Browder spent three years in Rikers Island, with two of those years in solitary confinement, without ever being convicted. While inside he suffered both physically as well as mentally. Three years after his release at the age of 22, he committed suicide. The documentary series is a timely look at how and why this tragedy happened and how the criminal justice system failed him.
To promote this series, TVGla went beyond the storyline portrayed in the film to highlight the specific issues that led to the horrors of Browder’s imprisonment, the agency developed a series of three video infographics that focus on three specific story elements: what led to his arrest, bail and solitary confinement.
The infographics tell the following stories with fact-base statistics:
The first is a story that highlights the Injustice of Kalief’s situation. He was locked up for allegedly stealing a backpack
The second story “Trapped” is about Bail – and why bail is an issue. Kalief’s family could not afford to post his $3,000 bail – so he was incarcerated awaiting trial:
The third story told through infographics is about “Solitary” confinement. While in jail, Kalief was subjected to solitary confinement for approximately 800 of his 1,095 days spent in Rikers. That’s 23 hours a day in a tiny cell.
TIME: The Kalief Browder Story is a six-part documentary series on Spike, which premiered on Wednesday March 1st and runs thru Wednesday, April 5th at 10 PM, ET/PT.
In addition to the video infographics, TVGla produced an integrated digital media campaign that ran across such websites as Deadline Hollywood, Vulture, The Washington Post and New York Magazine.
DIVERGE talked to Oliver Newton, Senior Account Director at TVGla to find out more:
Where did the idea for the infographics come from?
The idea for the infographics originated from Spike. We took the brief and worked out how we wanted to tell the story, essentially in three linear beats each one highlighting the key issues that directly affected Kalief. The infographic format gave us the room to bring in Kalief’s personal experience against the backdrop of the system he was processed through.
How excited were you to see that evolve in to a spot?
It’s always great to develop creative for on-air, especially as the request came through from Spike’s creative team after they had seen what we were doing with the infographics. We’re seeing more and more requests like this coming through; and we had a very similar brief from AMC for a :30s spot to promote the latest season of The Walking Dead, based on the creative we were delivering for the digital campaign.
So while the Kalief spot was great for us to do, it’s the response we’ve had to the infographics across social that has really given us the most satisfaction, especially in helping drive awareness of Kalief’s story.
Why is TVGla passionate about this project?
We don’t always get the opportunity to work on campaigns that are about something bigger than the thing we’re actually promoting. The TVGla team responsible for this project didn’t need any encouragement to jump in: the writers practically assigned themselves. This passion was almost a pre-requistite for the brand marketing team at Spike, who set the tone early on for how important this story and campaign is.
Right now there’s an air of heightened sensitivity around what is fact and what is propaganda and we were all very aware we had a responsibility to tell this story in a way that wouldn’t immediately alienate half the audience. It was difficult not to get angry and reflect that emotion in the videos, but we were deliberate about keeping the tone measured. Keep it factual, keep it objective. At least as objective as we could.
Still, at its core, there was this young boy of 16 who for three years was put through a meat grinder over a backpack he didn’t even steal, and who ultimately couldn’t live with the devastating effects of his experience.
That’s not the end of the story. There are still many young people just like Kalief who are going through the same thing right now.
TVGLA Digital Agency:
Writers: Rocio Urena / Kimberly Crespin
Design: Monchaya Ngaolertloy
Motion: Lourd Ebuen
ECD: Armando Llenado
Producer: Ranya Riad
Senior Account Director: Oliver Newton
Anhelo Reyes, VP Brand Marketing
Amanda Brass, Director Brand Marketing
Sam Polifka, Manager Brand Marketing