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Not A Target

Not A Target | United Nations | VML
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basics
Industry: Public interest & Non-profit
Media:Cyber
Market:United States
Style: Minimalism
descriptioncnen
Synopsis
For the last 14 years on August 19th, the United Nations has commemorated the 2003 attack on the UN mission in Baghdad by creating World Humanitarian Day (WHD): a day to recall the urgency of ongoing humanitarian crises across the world. In 2017, WHD called attention to the plight of civilians in conflict zones, and specifically, children, women, internally displaced peoples, aid workers, medical workers, and those affect by sexual violence. The United Nations specifically seeks to remind UN member states that no civilians should ever be a target of conflict, but that these six groups in particular repeatedly bear the burden of conflict around the world.
Strategy
Conflict’s impact is too abstract for most people to imagine. Our campaign needed to make it feel relevant and simple for our audience to rally against. We took inspiration from behaviors that our audience —digitally savvy citizens of developed countries — would be comfortable with. Knowing they are highly active on social media apps, not shy about posting their faces or voicing their opinions online and were far more likely to interact with UGC posts than branded ones, we understood that getting our audience to tell stories of civilians in conflict would be far more effective in galvanizing public action. Ultimately, the UGC Facebook Live videos became a powerful media distribution network, while branded visuals and OOH elevated the campaign and added a layer of credibility.
Outcome
The campaign collectively generated 2.5 million total social media engagements in just one week, with 222,000 conversations about the cause and how critical it is for the UN to effect change. Lastly, while the Live Camera Effect filter focused on new video generation and not on petition signatures, the UN still gathered close to 27,000 petition signatures from global citizens to present to UN stakeholders. And finally, without any paid influencers, the campaign saw posts of support from Richard Branson, Sheryl Sandberg, David Beckham and a host of other highly influential individuals, successfully helping the UN’s important message reach 166 million people worldwide.
Execution
The billboards and digital placements went live a week before WHD. Over the course of the week, we gathered and amplified earned buzz and PR coverage, building momentum toward Aug. 19 — the critical day. On Aug. 18, the Facebook filter was released publicly. The UN officially kicked off the initiative by posting a video of then-UN Under-Secretary-General Stephen O’Brien reading a story of conflict via the teleprompter. The Facebook video urged users to create their own message and retargeted those who did with a direct link to sign a petition. The largest push of the campaign was on WHD and the following day, where we optimized posts for engagement. Finally, UGC videos that were posted publicly were additionally amplified by the UN on billboards in Times Square to reinforce the urgency and the need for citizen voices to speak out.
CampaignDescription
The UN has previously used petition signatures to show member governments their citizens supported a UN cause. But we knew that faces and voices would exert more influence than signatures. So the core of our idea was built around enabling global citizens to voice stories of real civilians in conflict zones. We first drew the public’s attention to the cause by using harrowing photos and footage that journalists had captured in conflict zones to create OOH ads. Then, transforming Facebook’s Live Camera Effect filter into an immersive teleprompter, we got people to share stories of civilians in need, live, with their Facebook community and beyond. The resulting head-on calls to action urged even more users to join the campaign and lend their own voice to the cause. Finally, select user-generated filter videos were then streamed to billboards in Times Square, amplifying the voices of citizens to the world.
BriefWithProjectedOutcomes
In 2017, the rapid increase in the pace and frequency of new humanitarian crises around the world called for renewed attention to the cause of civilians inadvertently trapped in conflict. The UN has internal evidence to suggest that when global citizens take up a humanitarian cause on a massive scale, UN member states are quicker to evaluate it and develop new legislation to help solve it. It was important then that our campaign for WHD could demonstrate the mobilization of global citizens, so that the UN could emphasize the urgency of the cause with UN member states in the future. In short, we needed to prove that citizens around the world were concerned about civilians in conflict zones, with the hope that their heads of government would act.
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awards
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Shortlist Brand Experience & Activation
Use of Mobile & Devices
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Shortlist Direct
Use of Social Platforms
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Shortlist Sustainable Development Goals
Reduced Inequalities
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