Agency (& City): DDB Paris
Creative Director(s): Alexandre Hervé
Copywriter(s): Jean-François Bouchet
Art Director(s): Emmanuel Courteau
Photographer(s): Eric Sauvage-Luminastock-Monika/ Michael Sweet-Moment/Cultura/Corbis- Mlenny Photography
Art buyer: Quentin Moenne-Loccoz, Justine Bruneau
3D: Antoine Mairot/Daniel Bystedt
2D: Philip Andrén
Planning: Sébastien Genty
In 1881, school became free and compulsory in France.
But in 2012, 3 million french people were still illiterate. Nearly 10% of the population. Mostly
40-60 years old people who had not practiced enough and who had gradually lost the ability.
That is why the ANLCI (the national agency against illiteracy), had been created a few years
before. To federate 64 local associations and to lead the fight for literacy in France.
The ANLCI approached us in august 2012 with a clear goal : they wanted illiteracy to become
the next «National Cause», in 2013. A label given every year by the french government to a
cause, which means more means and ressources to fight for it.
Not an easy task because the competition for the public attention was quite hard between all the
different causes. And illiteracy does not kill thousands of people every year, on the contrary of
cancers or cardiovascular diseases. Aids, multiple sclerosis or violence against women seem
much more dramatic. Alzheimer disease has a much greater coverage.
The first step to achieve that goal was to sensitize the public opinion and to use it as a lever to
win the prime minister favor. So, in october 2012, we started by a press, outdoor and web
But not any campaign. We knew that the ANLCI did not want to dramatize too much the fact of
being illiterate. Because it rarely kills you ; it just makes your daily life a bit more complicated
and a bit less enjoyable.
Summary of the Campaign
To help the ANLCI to make illiteracy the «National Cause» of 2013, a label is attributed by the
french government every year. We started in october 2012 with an ad campaign that put literate
people in the same situation as the illiterate ones : at first glance, they could think that they were
facing a movie poster or a usual ad billboard, because we had used all the visual codes of
cinema and/or advertising categories ; only reading the text could give you the key to
understanding. Soon, dozens of blogs echoed the campaign. It was quoted by the traditionnal
media, including tv. Thousands of people answered the appeal and joined on illettrisme2013 to
sign the online petition, which was sent to the french government in january 2013. As a result, on
february 2013, the french prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, took the decision we hoped so
much : illiteracy became the new National Cause. Which meant more money and ressources
allocated to the 64 associations federated by the collective, more means to fight for literacy and
to help 3 million people to get a better life.