A new non-profit idea has been born to act as an ode to life
Posted on 2024 Apr,29  | By Ghada Azzi

Today, when people discuss abortion as a personal decision and a woman's right, the debate becomes quickly polarizing. TBWA Central Asia & Caucasus Creative Director & Advisor Juan Pablo Valencia recently released an awareness campaign that focuses on this topic. He did so in such a subtle way, yet he resorted to using strong graphic visuals and shock value that usually characterize this issue.

Dubbed "BORN A KING”, this proactive idea was born from a personal initiative and is designed to show the absolute unfiltered beauty —Juan Pablo would say with no chemicals added— of a human being that grows and develop inside a woman’s womb.

In an exclusive interview with ArabAd, Juan Pablo explains his drive behind this personal initiative, the key creative aspects of the campaign while he elaborates on his take vis-a-vis abortion versus the beauty and the value of a life, throughout this visually striking campaign."



What prompted you to address this topic?

Well, it is a very important topic, the most important I would say.

Especially today as we can see how fragile and vulnerable life is. Life today is something so vulnerable and sensitive that it must be cared for, respected and valued, and of course defended and promoted at all levels, especially from its beginning! Only in this way will we weigh the real value of a life. It is very sad to see how for selfishness, comfort, vanity, money, and many other reasons, life is incredibly despised.

We must thank our fathers and mothers above all, who at some point, with love and courage, decided for us to be born, despite all the effort and sacrifice that this implied.


Is this campaign an ode to life or a well-presented anti-abortion campaign?

Of course, it is an ode and celebration to life. There is nothing negative, nor anything against. It is a positive, inspiring message that invites us to see things from the inside, since these images have never been seen before in a real way today, even with the technology that exists, ultrasounds are still in black and white.

Obviously, when you affirm something, it’s like you’re somehow denying its opposite.

But I reinforce the positive, not the negative of aborting, but the beauty of procreating and allowing a baby to be born, a life, a soul, a future, a person, who will grow and become someone.


It's a personal project, if I'm not mistaken, so it's obviously a topic you're interested in addressing. Why is that?

Yes, I would like to make it clear: this is a totally personal initiative, TOTALLY non-profit and without any commercial purpose and has no relationship with the agency where I work nor with the thoughts or opinions of the photographer. Indeed, all the images are taken from the internet. 

First, of all, it seems to me that my responsibility as a communicator, creative and publicist, is towards is society. Obviously, every day we work for brands or products that we want to differentiate and promote to be purchased. But our talent and creativity cannot be limited to just that. It should hold greater responsibility; it is a job with a mission to improve society. Our work is not only to earn money or to enjoy the job, but a means to improve the world in which we live. Therefore, our responsibility is huge!

Second, because it seems to me that there is a lot of ignorance on this topic. As we all know, this is an issue that involves not only the woman of course, but also two individuals (parents), or three (the one on the way), but being uninformed or misinformed, leaving them defenseless to manipulation and confusion, which will later manifest itself in making incorrect decisions, and which they will regret for their entire life.

That is why it seemed to me to show the beauty of a being in the gestation and growth of a being in all its stages, so that it becomes evident, despite the fact that some say otherwise, that from the beginning there is life in the womb of a pregnant woman, that is, a life with its own DNA.

And I'm not saying it, these real images taken many years ago show it, which curiously were stored there...

Finally, anyway, we all have the freedom to choose.


As for your emphasis on the phases of gestation in the womb, the close-up, the multiple visuals etc. - did you choose to resort to such a “shock technique” to make sure to grab attention? Don't you think that such crude images may have the opposite effect, as it may be disturbing for most... What's your take on this?

Through this initiative, I wanted to generate awareness, through showing what is invisible to our eyes: the beauty of the life of a human being who is conceived, grows and develops in his mother's womb, who does not have the right to speak and defend himself, but that if he could, he would definitely choose to live!

I must to say that the original photographs were taken by the Swedish scientific photographer Lennart Nilsson, known mainly for his photographs of the human gestation process in the womb and which showed life from its beginnings, becoming the cover of "LIFE" magazine in 1965.

It seems to me that today we see around the world, in the media and news, truly disturbing and much more worst images that do not contribute anything valuable. Very morbid, and no one takes them away from the eyes of people who are already used to this and who invade social networks and the internet.

The beauty of life cannot be disturbing. The images of life are beautiful, and it seems a shame they have not become more popular since the year they were published.

They have ended up on a magazine cover and article, however, the powerful thing about these images is that no one can imagine the life that is inside, with hands, feet, head, organs, etc.

A picture is worth a thousand words as we all know, and that is the argument of this campaign. I have not said, added, or modified anything at all, I have simply highlighted what exists there: a life from its beginnings.

Just imagine parents who want to know how their baby grows inside the mother, and they were given images like that. Would it be disturbing?

This can be subjective, but from the many comments received so far, no one has considered it disturbing, everyone has shared inspiring and positive words and thoughts.


 A word around the slogan "born king", "born queen"...

Well, this is evidently born from the visual similarity, and social recycling of the concept of the multi-award-winning “Moldy Whopper” campaign, when I saw it and understood the impact it had had on the creative world, and I remembered the work of this photographer, who It also showed and highlighted the beauty of what is natural, what is not intervened, what is not manipulated. That's where I linked the phrases and the idea of: “Born a King”, “Born a Queen” was born.

I joined the conversation, and tried to give it a creative twist with a very visual and direct message. In fact, the images are real, natural, there is nothing retouched, nor working with artificial intelligence. That's what's fantastic!

Finally, the message is for everyone - For people who have never seen the Moldy Whopper campaign, and for those who do know about the work. Indeed, everyone who has seen it has clearly understood the message.


Last but not least, what is your opinion on the role of creatives in addressing social problems and contributing to improving societies?

I already mentioned it before.

It's definitely crucial! In my opinion, we live in times where we lack real, valuable leaders who lead us on the right path. Being popular is not a good sign, and we see how fashions and ideologies prevail, destroying all the important values that have been difficult to build: especially the family.

That is why today brands play such an important role in this process, and the challenge is how we can help and guide these brands to transform themselves into brands with real, solid, authentic values, in other words: in agents of change and improvement, so that they leave a positive mark on what they do.

We know the power and capacity that brands have to generate audiences and followers, and even more so the great impact they have due to their great exposure in the media, which is why we have a great responsibility.