AGENCY STRATEGIC CREATIVE, Sydney / UNITED NATIONS OFFICE FOR THE COORDINATION OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS / 2017
Every day, millions of people face impossible choices. Heartbreaking decisions which no one should have to make. But despite the tragedy and scale of human suffering, these dilemmas can seem remote and disconnected.
Impossible Choices is a global campaign that lets people experience the decisions of others, forced to make the choices that no one should face. More impacting again is when these decisions are made personal. If it was your family, your best friend, your partner, caught up in these heartbreaking scenarios, then your affinity with those enduring these tragedies grow. Finally, when each decision has consequences, and your choices affect those closest to you, the decisions of refugees, of the displaced, of those who remain amongst conflict, becomes even more relatable.
These choices, made personal, can humanize the large scale of human suffering, and draw a personal connection to conflicts and disasters around the world.
We created an emotive interactive journey for Impossible Choices. Personalised with the names of your best friend, and your closest family member, we wove together an individual story based on your choices. Through disaster or conflict, across deserts and oceans, people were drawn into the harrowing decisions made by those in crisis. Blurred background videos and ambient audio tracks drew people to place the story into their own context, not someone else's.
As a United Nations campaign, the interactive needed to be multilingual. The story was created in six languages, allowing citizens from around the world to engage in the campaign.
An inbuilt activism tool was developed to tweet your specific world leader, tallying and reporting on social engagement.
Supported by a suite of videos, celebrity endorsements and social media ads, limited budget was used on targeted placements around the world. Facebook ads drew people into their first impossible choice.
Across digital ads and our campaign PSA, we reached tens of millions around the world. With over 700 media stories, we drew a quarter of a million people to the campaign.
We engaged people in the experience, with 65% of people completing the full three minutes of impossible choices. Over one million impossible choices were made by people from 131 nations around the world. Fifty thousand shared, and encouraged their leaders to act for humanity.
The result? This campaign helped fuel the political will at the World Humanitarian Summit, where 3,000 commitments were made by governments and international organisations.
These impossible choices also yielded some inspiring humanitarian results. 87% decided to save someone drowing at sea, at great personal risk, demonstrating perhaps that in person, if not in public discourse, we retain a genuine compassion for the plight of others.
UNITED NATIONS OFFICE FOR THE COORDINATION OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS, Den Haag
2021, UNITED NATIONS OFFICE FOR THE COORDINATION OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS