Cannes Lions

THE-REALLY-BIG-AND-FAR-REACHING-ADVERTSING-CAMAPAIGN-THEY-NEVER-REALLY-WANTED-YO

VCCP, London / AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL / 2016

Awards:

1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Description

Our creative idea focused on the fact this fair was kept all very hush-hush. The fair organisers and the UK government were highly secretive about it, and cautious to not draw any unwanted attention (all mention of the fair had been removed from the organiser’s website).

So, our idea was simple: we were going to give the organisers and UK government…

THE-REALLY-BIG-AND-FAR-REACHING-AD-CAMPAIGN-THEY-NEVER-REALLY-WANTED-YOU-TO-SEE

The advertising campaign that neither the UK government, nor the organisers wanted.

Execution

Together with world-renowned artist Anthony Burrill, we executed the campaign in a vivid and sinister tone. Importantly we wanted the campaign to feel BIG, so a fully integrated approach was also paramount.

Furthermore, timing was key. We had to unveil our campaign as close to the opening day of the fair as possible. This was crucial to ensure we got the media traction that would be critical to its success. With a limited budget we also had to call in some favours with media owners for free placements.

We seeded our campaign first through London press such as City A.M. and Metro and supported it with outdoor posters in London’s East End. We also seeded an online film, printed beer mats and pub posters. We even got our own activists in the streets holding placards and offering assistance as ‘unofficial arms fair helpers’.

Outcome

The campaign made an immediate impact.

The campaign reached 3M people on Facebook alone. Views of our campaign online totalled 628K across social media. Most of this was driven by organic traction, rather than paid (due to a very modest budget) and outperformed all previous Amnesty International UK campaign on social media.

We reached an additional 34.6M people through free media (source: Gorkana) and over 23K people signed the petition, +53% more than the average torture petition.

Finally in the wake of the media attention, and public response, we received an unprompted response from the UK’s Minister of State for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise. Referencing the ‘strength of public feeling’ the UK government promised to strengthen controls that were then timely felt in a EU parliament vote one month later that voted 630-30 in favour of closing the loophole.

Torture tackled.

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