Winning Charity Gold: The Most Famous Speech Never Given

Winning Charity Gold: The Most Famous Speech Never Given

Winning Charity or Not-for-Profit Gold in The Drum Awards for Marketing Americas is no small feat. This year, the accolade was awarded to EP+Co and Worth Rises for their groundbreaking campaign, ‘The Most Famous Speech Never Given.’

Objective: Transforming Advertising

Advertising has often been criticized as a manipulative tool designed to drive consumerism. While this perception isn't entirely unfounded, EP+Co embarked on a mission to revolutionize the industry. Their goal? To empower creative agencies to use their talents and resources not just to sell products but to make meaningful changes.

A New Era of Advertising

This innovative approach aims to push the advertising discipline forward by creating campaigns that impact the greater good. A prime example of this vision is ‘The Most Famous Speech Never Given,’ produced for the nonprofit advocacy organization Worth Rises.

The Campaign: Resurrecting Lincoln

The campaign utilized AI and CGI technologies to interview President Abraham Lincoln—resurrecting him digitally. The 13th Amendment is often celebrated for ending slavery in the United States, with Lincoln recognized as one of its fiercest advocates. However, what many Americans don't realize is that this amendment contains an exception clause allowing slavery as punishment for crime since its enactment in 1865.

The Exception Clause

While President Lincoln was aware of this exception, he leveraged it to garner bipartisan support for the amendment, anticipating it would be abolished shortly thereafter. Fast forward nearly two centuries later, and 1.2 million incarcerated people are still suffering under this clause. Using AI technology, we asked Lincoln what he would say if he could see these injustices today.

Creating Lincoln’s Speech

To create an authentic speech from Lincoln:

  1. Data Collection: We uploaded a range of Lincoln’s previously written works and speeches into two generative AI platforms—ChatGPT and Jasper.
  2. Training AI: These platforms were trained to emulate Lincoln's unique tone, dialect, and language choices.
  3. Speech Generation: We then asked the AI—writing as Lincoln—to deliver a speech about slavery’s persistence.
  4. Expert Review: Harold Holzer, a foremost Lincoln scholar, reviewed the work to ensure historical accuracy.

Holzer confirmed that the writing aligned with who history tells us Lincoln was then—and who he might be today.

Bringing Lincoln Back to Life

Creating an impactful campaign required more than just words; it needed visual authenticity:

  1. Voice Development: We developed an authentic speaking voice using AI and casting considerations like speech patterns from Indiana (Lincoln's home state), his height, weight, etc.
  2. Motion Capture: An actor who had previously played Honest Abe on the History Channel donned a motion-capture suit to recreate Lincoln’s movements.
  3. CGI Creation: Using Unreal Engine's Metahuman technology, we transformed our actor into a lifelike replica of Lincoln for a four-minute speech addressing the nation.

Campaign Launch Strategy

Strategically launched ahead of the 2024 elections:

  • Online & Social Media: The campaign aimed at driving public education and legislative action.
  • Media Coverage: Earned exclusive coverage by Forbes along with features in Fast Company, Adweek, MediaPost, Shoot Magazine among others.
  • Event Spotlight: Highlighted at SXSW 2024.

Public Engagement

Our campaign reached over 88 million people globally: - Over 5,000 actions were taken by audiences calling on legislators demanding they end this exception clause once and for all.

Impact & Recognition

The success of ‘The Most Famous Speech Never Given’ underscores how advertising can transcend traditional boundaries: - It demonstrated how creative agencies could leverage modern technologies like AI & CGI not just for commercial gains but also social justice initiatives. - It set new benchmarks within both marketing realms while fostering broader societal awareness around critical issues such as systemic racism embedded within legal frameworks like America’s constitution itself!


‘The Most Famous Speech Never Given’ stands testament not only towards innovative thinking but also highlights potential transformative power held within responsible advertising practices today! As we look forward towards future endeavors similar projects will undoubtedly continue shaping better tomorrow through collective efforts driven by creativity coupled alongside technological advancements ensuring impactful results benefiting wider communities everywhere!

By understanding how EP+Co along with Worth Rises managed orchestrate such compelling narrative-driven initiative utilizing cutting-edge tools available today - marketers worldwide can draw inspiration aiming replicate similar successes across diverse fields thereby contributing positively towards global progress overall!