Eurobest

The Truth Wins

DDB GERMANY, Berlin / REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS / 2022

Presentation Image
Case Film
Supporting Content

Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

For world day against cyber censorship, Reporters Without Borders wanted a campaign to reach people in countries with media censorship and social media restrictions. The problem: every time the government has a social media account removed; the truth loses another address. Journalists can open a new account, but people would not know where to find it and it can easily get blocked again. It would need an address that is changing faster than censors can react, that cannot be foreseen and on top every week a huge media campaign so everyone in the country knows the new address: the lottery numbers.

Idea

In countries with press censorship the truth is hard to find. But even where the media gets strictly controlled – one thing is always in the news: The state-owned lotteries. So, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) decided to highjack them. To bypass state censorship RSF turned the lottery numbers into an access code for journalism on Twitter. By embedding the current lottery numbers into Twitter accounts with independent information, people could simply type the numbers in the Twitter search bar and the truth would show up.

We created films, gifs, Illustrations and animations and used photojournalism to turn independent news into visually appealing content worth sharing.

Strategy

Countries with many removal requests to Twitter (Twitter transparency report), with a low ranking in RSF’s press freedom index and state-owned lotteries where chosen: Turkey, Russia and Brazil, all with large national lotteries. Countries with low income per capita, have high numbers of regular lottery players (E.g. in Brazil more than 70% of the population play the lottery regularly).

We partnered with local journalists and large Twitter accounts (e.g. Can Dündar +5M Followers) to target people from our featured countries and launched a social media campaign (in the countries’ native language) with the key message to share the content to help fight censorship.

We created visually impressive content to turn independent news into thumb stoppers in people’s timelines. A press kit including images, interviews and background information from journalists made sure the story would get picked up by the media.

Execution

The lottery numbers were embedded in Twitter accounts with independent journalism. The Twitter handle, the accounts bio and tweets themselves contained the current lottery numbers. By typing the lottery numbers into the Twitter search bar, the algorithm identifies accounts containing the numbers as valid search result.

The mechanic was used on “The Truth Wins” Twitter accounts and adapted by journalists from Russia, Turkey, and Brazil to spread independent news in the countries’ native language. Articles that previously got blocked where minted directly into the Ethereum blockchain(accessible through ENS-domain links) to make them resistant to censorship and were shared through our Twitter accounts. The campaign was running from March – May 2022, social media assets were posted on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn, a film explained the idea and people could learn more about the initiative and find the current lottery numbers on the campaign’s website: the-truth-wins.com

Outcome

The campaign was featured on 12 different Twitter Accounts with a combined reach of 6,2 Million Followers. More than 260 independent news tweets (accessible by searching the national lottery numbers) were published. Through the campaign duration the followers across all accounts increased by 150 K and accumulated more than 750 K impressions. 85 news articles were published about the campaign (including “The New Yok Times”, “Forbes”, “FastCompany”) with a total reach of more than 170 million. Donations for Reporters Without Borders increased by 27% (March/April) and all donations are being used to mirror blocked Russian news websites and make the truth accessible again on an even larger scale. Five Russian websites have already been mirrored – the new addresses are being shared through “The Truth Wins” Twitter accounts.

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2023, REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS

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