Nationwide Building Society shines a light on the abuse posted online against real people featured in advertisements in a new campaign, called “Together Against Hate”.
The British mutual financial institution has partnered with Channel 4 and brands Maltesers and McCain to show examples of real abuse posted online and highlight that we all should stand up for diversity and inclusion and not tolerate online abuse. The outcome is a “thought-provoking ad break” which highlights this disturbing trend and features writer and performer from South London SugarJ Poet reciting a poem titled “Face to Face”, specially written for this initiative, about the importance of face to face interaction in a world where social media impacts everyone’s lives. “I heard we are the most lonely society in history. Immediately I scoffed, looked at my 4-inch movie screen for ‘How can you be lonely when everything can be done with a tap or a swipe?’ Just because you can, it doesn’t mean you do. Often, the more you can, the less you’re inclined to do. It’s a funny kind of use. Imagine there were no phones. No Facebook. No such thing as online. You’d probably find the time to meet for a cuppa and a schmooze. Strange that… I like my Internet connectivity, but I shouldn’t have brought my interconnectivity, so I try and combine the two,” SugarJ Poet says, while on screen rasist and discriminating messages, some of which incite to violence and hatred, are featured.
He is not the only poet starring in a Nationwide advert. Jo Bell, a freelance poet, also features in one of the spots that are part of Natiowide’s “Voices of the people” campaign, which first launched in September 2016, delivering herself the lines of her “Building a building society” poem.
In another spot, part of the same campaign, Yorkshire-based Matt Abbott talks about the importance of having somewhere to call home in a moving poem, titled “This Place Is Ours”, about family traditions, which Nationwide used as a platform to promote its first-time buyer scheme. Leading spoken word poet Hollie McNish also stars, delivering her poem “Little Things”, which focuses on the experience of being a mum.