Can a movie spark a movement?
It’s been almost 60 years since hundreds gathered in Selma, Alabama, to march the 50 miles to the capital city of Montgomery, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They marched as part of a heated campaign for equal voting rights and faced violent opposition along the way. Despite this, the protest eventually played a central role in passing the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965, a significant win for the civil rights movement.
When Paramount Pictures planned to release a film chronicling MLK’s incredible journey in Selma, they saw the potential of this moment in history to inspire the movements and activists of our time. WE MUST BE BOLD (WMBB) was approached by a team working with Paramount to design and launch a grassroots campaign to honor those who took a stand with the hope of creating ripples of action through communities.
The result was #MarchOn, a campaign that called for users to participate in an interactive march and connect by voicing the social issues most important to them. Chat sessions with social influencers – including rappers, actors, and movement leaders in the streets – ranged from racial and gender equality to homelessness in America.
WMBB didn’t focus on paid influencers but instead identified circles of influence in various spaces and reached out with an offer of collaboration. For those influential individuals or organizations that participated, #MarchOn would gladly amplify their causes in return. WMBB supported sustained community engagement by providing signs for marches, activist toolkits and community organizing support.
The #MarchOn campaign began with the film’s release but extended well beyond its launch, and the ethos and spirit of the movement continued to be activated in new ways throughout the country. WMBB’s strategies grew the function of a simple hashtag into a rallying cry for social progress and community advocacy. Overall, the multi-channel campaign garnered an estimated 360 Million impressions.