Most countries in the world have begun to relax their pandemic restrictions. In all this time, we have witnessed an amazing collaboration; We have seen people joining forces to fight together against this virus that has made more than 10 million victims worldwide so far. At the same time, we have witnessed abnormal things: There’s less air pollution, cities’ soundscapes are changing, and the oceans are finally breathing. In fact, these processes that seem out of the ordinary are, in fact, as normal as possible. We are not used to them. Still, we have stopped to enjoy this show offered for free by Mother Nature. We have let it be reborn, obviously forced by the laws that made us stay in isolation.

But as the world begins to emerge from the pandemic, we tend to forget the lessons we have learned. Confused, we seek to “get back to normal.” So, we ask ourselves: “What is normal?” UNESCO challenges our perception of normality in a new campaign, courtesy of DDB Paris. The initiative’s centerpiece, a two-minute-long video, presents facts, not relying on arguments to prove a point. Simply put, it offers viewers information about the world before and during the COVID-19 lockdown.

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Looking closely, these facts are basically an invitation for people to question their ideas regarding normality and whether we accepted the unacceptable for too long. According to the organization, humanity can no longer accept the world’s previous reality. This is the time to change so that we can have a better future.

Through this campaign, which is available as of 25 June 2020, UNESCO plans to empower people to take action and reflect on the concept of normality. By adopting a normal behavior today, our tomorrow can be positively influenced. The initiative doesn’t address normal people only; It also asks media and opinion leaders to carry the message on a global scale.

The campaign is part of a wider effort that the organization implemented with the aim to reflect upon the world’s future. This initiative can be seen through the UNESCO forum initiative, a laboratory of ideas bringing together prominent thinkers, the Resiliart movement, a series of panel debates on the future of culture and the cultural industries, the Futures Literacy Network, as well as the Futures of education programme and the global recommendations for open science and the ethics of artificial Intelligence. These are some of the issues that UNESCO wants to focus on despite the pandemic.

So, how normal is it to be normal?


Client: UNESCO

Agency: DDB Paris