Cannes Lions

AWARENESS ON REFUGEES

UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES, Bogota / UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSION FOR REFUGEES / 2012

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Overview

Description

The main goal of the campaign is to promote tolerance and reduced stigma and discrimination towards refugees and displaced persons for their better integration into society and access to their rights. The project was first created for Colombia, being one of biggest displaced crisis in the world, and then expanded to all Latin American countries, Spain and the USA which experienced the same phenomenon. The initiative consists of various graphic pieces which show real refugees' shoes from different part of the world. A website was created to support the campaign, with photos galleries and videos of the people and celebrities giving their support. A shoes stand was also executed in public sites and conferences as a gesture to put people in the refugee’s shoes. On the site by clicking on each box of shoes a real refugee story appears. Posters, banners, postcards and T-shirts were produced in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. The site was visited in the first 15 days by 7,500 people from 40 different countries; 900 students volunteered for the implementation of the campaign; massive media coverage was recorded; and the agency's social network doubled in only 3 months its number of fans.

Execution

The campaign was run through November and December 2010 in Colombia, Mexico, Geneva and Brazil, followed the next year by Spain, USA, Cuba, Guatemala, Panama and Costa Rica. All these countries continue to reiterate the campaign strategy in various national and international events, organised by the agency or by external parties such as Governments and the public throughout 2011. Considering that the campaign message was clear and simple, it was easy to capture the attention of the people and get them to agree with us. The campaign went exceeded expectations. It started off as a campaign for Columbia but ended up spreading further afield into other countries.

Outcome

The campaign through various type of events and public sites reached about 500,000 people in 1 year in Colombia and in other countries 1m individuals. The results on the web site, TV and social network are much higher. First of all, the social network doubled its number of fans and helped to redirect people to the agency web site to look for deeper information on refugees. Next, the TV spot that was broadcast on TV and in cinemas reached a large audience of different ages. In addition, in every event, the media coverage in print, radio and TV was always high. Private sectors approached the agency to help out with awareness programs; the social network started to receive questions from refugees, and was eventually displaced, converting the channel into a protection tool; media increase their coverage of refugees' issues; and awareness support was received from schools.

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