Oxfam Unleashes Inner David with Syncopated Storytelling

Oxfam America is running “Be David”, an inspiring long-form PSA telling the story of Joanna Manu, a woman who stood up to mining giants in Ghana and inspired a community organising movement. Joanna attended a training session sponsored by Oxfam America and stood up against land threats and environmental hazards wrought by an open pit gold mining company. The film, connecting Joanna’s story with the Biblical story of David and Goliath, suggests that we all have inner power to influence and make change. Film production collective Wander brings a Syncopated Storytelling℠ approach, using quick cuts, graphic design, and unexpected imagery to punctuate the film’s voice-over narration with warmth and humour. Viewers are encouraged to visit oxfamamerica.org/david and find their own inner David.

Joanna Manu 2007

“Joanna Manu is emblematic of how people can create real change if they have access to information and can exercise their rights,” says Oxfam America’s Creative Director Jane Huber. “Our hope is that ‘Be David’ will close the distance between Oxfam’s beneficiaries and American viewers and that it will inspire people to join our community to become activists in their own right.”

David and Goliath - Osmar Schindler

James Sarpong in Mining Rubble in Oxfam Be David video

James Sarong on what used to be his farm in Oxfam Be David video

Wander’s Syncopated Storytelling℠ approach first debuted with the Rainforest Alliance – Follow The Frog brand film that was awarded with 2013 Cannes Lions, a TED Ads Worth Spreading, AICP Next, and many other honors. The collective has since gone on to create nationally and internationally recognized branded content and PSAs for LinkedIn, American Museum of Natural History, and Coexist.

“Syncopated Storytelling evolved organically to fulfill the needs of our clients who often have a complex or multilayer message,” explains Weber. “Through the rapid editorial style paired with a fast paced voiceover we are able to jam a ton of information into a short piece while keeping our audiences engaged, informed, and even entertained. And when the technique is used to further a great cause it is very, very gratifying.”

David and Goliath - Gustav Dore

Lithographs featured here are “David Slays Goliath” by Gustav Dore, and “David Und Goliath” by Osmar Schindler.

Filed under: Commercials, Oxfam