Discover how VML Canada and Egale took a stand against rising anti-LGBTQIA+ hate with "Pride Unravelled." This impactful campaign transformed data into a powerful visual statement, sparking national conversation and action.

Direct Case Film Pride Unravelled
It demonstrates how much hate there truly is. A number on its own isn’t as impactful, because we deal with numbers all day long. As a data visualization to show all of the hate we’re facing and what it’s doing to our community, we knew we were on to something disruptive, that could say to the community and Canadians at large that we need to stand up against the hate — to do something about it.

Allen Kwong

Group Creative Director, VML

In 2021, Canada’s federal government ceased tracking anti-LGBTQIA+ hate crimes, leading to a misconception that the LGBTQIA+ community was no longer under threat. However, Egale, Canada’s foremost organization for LGBTQIA+ advocacy, documented 6,423 instances of anti-LGBTQIA+ hate from January to March 2023 alone. To address this rising tide of hate and dispel the myth of safety, Egale enlisted VML Canada to bring this issue to the forefront of national attention.

The challenge was to visualize the intangible rise in hate. VML Canada conceptualized "Pride Unravelled," a pride flag with 6,423 missing threads, each thread representing an act of hate against the LGBTQIA+ community from the first three months of 2023. Unveiled on May 1, 2023, this visual data-driven approach effectively highlighted the severity of the situation and sparked widespread media coverage and public discourse.

The campaign achieved significant impact. "Pride Unravelled" garnered over 73 million earned media impressions from 110 news outlets, including major publications like The Canadian Press, CTV News, and The Globe and Mail. The flag was amplified by prominent LGBTQIA+ influencers, and the campaign’s digital assets were widely adopted by various organizations. Furthermore, the Canadian government, prompted by the campaign’s success, released its first report on anti-LGBTQIA+ hate since 2021 and committed $1.5 million to enhance security at Pride 2023 events.

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