Vast inequalities in healthcare standards for childbirth exist around the world. We needed to draw meaningful attention to one of the key issues of our time and provoke debate on a global scale.
Focussing attention on the inequality of childbirth healthcare
B!RTH is a unique global initiative that combines the arts and science to raise debate and question existing inequalities surrounding childbirth across the world. We commissioned seven leading female playwrights from Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Syria, UK and USA, to explore their country’s attitude towards childbirth and host plays at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.
Academic debate and Q&A with expert speakers followed each play and were streamed online. They were later compiled to create a global online educational resource. The brand grabbed attention through confrontational imagery. By replacing the i in Birth with conflicting imagery that contrasts the idea of Birth, ensured we had a striking and memorable campaign.
We then took thousands of postnatal wristbands to create a typographic stunt that was hard to miss. Each band bore a baby’s name and together they formed the number 3254 – the annual number of stillborn deaths in the UK. In addition, a film was created to raise awareness. A playful soundtrack set against unsettling footage served as a poignant indication of the global problem.
The project was a resounding success with sell-out performances for each play. The theatre saw a 300% increase in ticket sales and nearly 5000 viewers from 13 different countries have watched the plays and debates online. It reached over 3.5 million on social media, including coverage from leading news outlets including The Guardian and The New York Times.
The B!RTH project brought a human inequality to a global stage, all from a local one in Manchester.