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Public React to Shocking Child Marriage Statistic in Plan UK Film

J. Walter Thompson London, 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Film from JWT London follows up on takeover of the dating app Happn

Public React to Shocking Child Marriage Statistic in Plan UK Film

J. Walter Thompson and Global children’s charity Plan UK have launched a film showing users’ reactions to their recent takeover of the dating app Happn to mark UN Human Rights Day and raise awareness of child marriage. 

Instead of seeing lots of other single people to potentially connect with, on the day of the take-over more than 400,000 Happn users in London were presented with just one dating choice repeated throughout their timeline. 

The touching film outlines the shocking statistics around child marriage before filming real life reactions to the takeover and the messages from the children’s charity. 

When users connected with Plan’s stunt profile they saw a message that read: “When we’re free to date whoever we like, it’s hard to imagine only having one option. So whether you like Mark or not, he’s sticking around.” 

Plan is working tirelessly to stop child marriage - currently affecting 15 million girls globally every year – through the world’s biggest girls’ rights campaign, Because I am a Girl. Child brides are forced to drop out of school, have children before they are ready and are often subjected to violence and abuse. 


The charity’s latest study, conducted with research firm Coram International, exposes disturbingly high rates of child marriage in rural areas of Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Indonesia. The survey, called Getting the Evidence: Asia Child Marriage Initiative, reveals one in four girls in Bangladesh is married by the age of 14. 

“Our work in Bangladesh, Malawi and Guatemala has shown time and time again that the first step to successfully ending child marriage, and other forms of violence against girls, is to break the silence on these issues,” says Tanya Barron, CEO of Plan UK.

“We’re delighted to work with Happn on this innovative stunt. We're inviting Happn users to join us in the fight to end child marriage by signing up to the Because I am a Girl campaign. Through collective action, we can bring an end to child marriage and empower girls to fulfil their own potential.”

Marie Cosnard, Head of Trends at Happn, says: “We’re very happy to be supporting Plan UK in a cause that deeply resonates with our values. We’re proud to offer our users choice – the choice to rediscover people they've passed in the street or in their favourite coffee shop, the choice to date if they connect with someone, or the choice to say no and meet someone else – and we believe everyone should have that right.”

Will Brookwell and Will Helm, creatives at J. Walter Thompson London, add: “When we first read about the issue we were surprised and shocked. It wasn’t really something we knew about, but it had a real effect on us. The more we read about child marriage, the more we wanted to find a way to reach others. We realised that the best way to talk to people about lack of choice would be in the place where they have the most freedom.”

Creative Agency

Creative Agency: JWT London

Category: Dating , Sports and leisure

Genre: Digital