Sprite takes on haters with messages of love

Athletes and artists attempt to neutralize abusers with three words: I love you

Sprite is taking on social media trolls with a new global brand film that suggests the best way to fight hate is with love.

Set to a stripped-down rendition of The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love,” the short film, created by Santo, features real people, artists, and athletes from around the globe recounting the abuse they’ve faced online and fighting back with three powerful words: I love you.

As victims describe their experiences and the way they deal with the negativity in a voiceover, scenes of their everyday lives are intercut with the abusive social media comments.

“It doesn’t matter what people say,” says Spanish Olympic swimmer Rocío Velázquez.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, for sure,” adds English rapper Tyrus McKenzie.

“I used to get upset by it, but then I realized that none of it really matters,” shares Swedish surfer Liz Romer.

The film also features French pole dancer Nico Moldestein, Spanish LGBT activists David Perez and Marius Caralt, and Barcelona female soccer team CE Sant Gabriel. It concludes with the brand’s campaign tagline, “Stay Fresh,” and the hashtag #iloveyouhater.

“The campaign is about having a point of view about hate in the world,” said Maximiliano Itzkoff, partner and CCO at Santo. “And as if Sprite was a mantra, [to] try and help people to stay fresh in the face of attacks.”

Juan Etchanique, creative director at Santo, added that the creative approach — filming real people rather than casting actors — was in keeping with the weight of the cultural issue.

“We wanted to create a realistic message,” said Etchanique. “All the decision was around that. It’s a real problem, let’s make it in a real way.”

Anonymous Content’s Karim Huu Do directed the spot, which is running globally as part of a campaign that includes a long-form documentary, Instagram stories, and print and outdoor ads.