Silver Cannes Lions
articles were redesigned into pixel art
While 15 minutes without the internet feels like an eternity, 7 million Kashmiris lived in a blackout for more than 142 days. With the blackout, the people of Jammu & Kashmir found their lives brought to a screeching halt. Until VICE and Denstu Webchutney came together, to give updates to lakhs of Kashmiris through #The8BitJourno: The world’s first teletext SMS portal.
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Cannes Lion: 3 Silver (Creative Strategy, Digital Craft, Direct) 2 Bronze (Direct, Mobile)
The internet, a major source for news and VICE’s primary medium was not an option.
The blackout had severely affected even other mediums of news such as print, Kashmiris were further disconnected from the world.
Looking to recreate the experience of the Internet, we stumbled upon a medium that was all but forgotten – SMS. As the restrictions on SMS were removed on the 142nd day, VICE found the perfect loophole to inform the Kashmiris.
Creative Idea & Execution
On the 142nd day of the communications blackout, the government eased restrictions on SMS. Each article was then redesigned in pixel art using an open-source tool.
Rigorously testing the articles on 8 of the most popular devices in Kashmir, the articles were perfected. Due to the 160 pixel limitation per line, the words in the headlines were carefully chosen. The articles were edited to fit the 10 SMS limit, making for an immersive and swift experience.
These articles were sent to Kashmiris reading English news between the ages of 18-35. For each day of news they had missed, VICE sent them six news articles.
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