Advertising Agency: Doping Creative Agency, Armenia
Producer։ Hayk Simonyan
Creative Director։ Hovhannes Margaryan
Line Producer։ Narek Hakobyan
Communications Manager։ Hasmik Barkhudaryan
Copywriters։ Tigran Gevorgyan, Mary Mailyan, Anjela Petrosyan, Artsrun Sakanyan, Hayk Ayvazyan, Mariam Hakobyan, Tigran Sirunyan
Designers։ Anush Ghazaryan, Luiza Petrosyan, Ani Amaryan
Web-Designer: Edgar Mkrtchyan
Case Study Director: Grigor Galstyan
Voice: Khoren Levonyan
Sound Designer: Tigran Hakobyan
Music: Michael Mayilyan
Operator-artists: Vahe Safaryan, Hrach Manucharyan, Narek Sahakyan, Vahe Abroyan, Nelson Sargsyan, Vahe Adamyan, Karen Galstyan, Stepan Melqonyan, Arman Ordyan
Editor: Nairi Danielyan
Computer Graphics: Hovhannes Yepremyan
Cast: Individuum Casting Studio
Technicians: Grigor Aghajanyan, Manvel Harutyunyan, Nshan Grigoryan, Karen Khachatryan
Digital support: Hovhannes Petrosyan, Armen Martirosyan
Web: Smbat Smbatyan
Special thanks to Serj Tankian, Nazeni Hovhannisyan, Hovhannes Ghazaryan, Armenuhi Burmanyan, Karen Avetisyan, Vazgen Saghatelyan
Armenia has the 5th highest rate of sex-selective abortions in the world. In the past 25 years, this harmful practice has prevented the birth of over 40,000 girls. At this rate, the number will reach 96,000 by 2060. For a country with less than 3 million population, these are alarming numbers. Boy preference is so strong in Armenia that some superstitious families name their daughters “Bavakan” (literally “Enough”) to prevent the birth of another girl. Hence the title of the campaign: “Bavakane,” a wordplay that means “It is enough.”
Pride, shame, ‘economic reasons’ – whatever pushes people to gender-biased sex selection, one thing is common: no one wants to address it. To break this barrier, we needed something the population couldn’t ignore.
Mother Armenia is the tallest statue in the country; it symbolizes women’s role in our society, making it the perfect platform to ring the alarm on Armenia’s perilous rates of sex-selective abortions.
Since this issue is a nation-wide problem, overcoming it requires cooperative efforts from a large part of the society. So, we targeted the country’s population as a whole, with emphasis on relevant policy makers.
Data and professional expertise were provided by UNFPA Armenia and Armenia’s Ministry of Health.
We published a provocative PSA video where we glorify all the fields Armenia is a leader in -- sports, IT, science, etc., -- including sex-selective abortions.
We then launched a website – www.bavakane.am – with the relevant data and statistics. Here women could share their own stories and get free, anonymous psychological assistance.
Finally, on the International Day of the Girl Child we illuminated the Mother Armenia statue in red and projected Armenia’s statistics on sex-selective abortions onto the pedestal. The Minister of Health went live on Facebook in front of the statue to express his support for the campaign. The statue remained red all night to ensure maximum visibility. Overnight, it went viral.
The “Bavakane” campaign ultimately garnered over 13,000,000 impressions, which is around 4 times the country’s population. It was covered by more than 70 local and international media outlets.
The PSA video was viewed over 3,000,000 times, and the official landing page saw 11,000 visits on the launch day alone.
Celebrities, social media influencers and politicians endorsed the campaign; among them musician and political activist Serj Tankian, Ambassador of France in Armenia H.E. Mr. Jonathan Lacôte, and the First Lady of Armenia Mrs. Anna Hakobyan.
The campaign then reached Armenia’s Parliament, where the issue of gender-biased sex selection was put to an extended discussion and MPs from various factions joined the cause.
Eventually, Armenia’s Prime Minister addressed the issue and tasked relevant authorities to develop a complex proposal to end this harmful practice.