Direct > Data & Technology

CORRUPTION CITY

GREY COLOMBIA, Bogota / PUBLIMETRO / 2023

Awards:

Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Overview

Credits

Overview

Why is this work relevant for Direct?

“Corruption City” is relevant for Direct because through gaming and entertainment, it awakens people's indignation, leading them directly to take action against corruption by signing a petition that forces the government to clarify the state of public works that were left unfinished due to embezzlement. This initiative opened a national conversation and gave Colombian citizens the possibility to assess the country's corruption and its impact on each person's wallet.

Background

Colombia is among the top countries with high levels of corruption, ranking in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index. The country is plagued by bribery, misuse of public resources, and exploitation of public office for private gain. Despite media reports denouncing the mismanagement of public funds and incomplete construction projects aimed at improving citizens' lives, very little seems to change. Publimetro, the leading independent media outlet in Colombia, seeks to engage new audiences through its investigative journalism by highlighting the importance of staying informed to participate in national issues. Publimetro's focus is on its independent and revealing reports on numerous public-funded projects that remain unfinished due to corruption over the years. To draw attention to the over 1,400 public projects that were abandoned or incomplete due to corruption and funded by Colombian taxpayers, Publimetro aims to reach new audiences, harnessing the power of information to inspire action against corruption.

Describe the creative idea

Corruption City is a hypothetical city that puts together in one place public projects that Colombians paid for with their taxes, projects that, in real life, were left half complete or not done at all, because the money was diverted. This is a mega-city paid in full, but its inhabitants could never enjoy, a dream place made up of famous projects such as the Chocó Stadium, a Mother and Child Center in Neiva, architectural award-winning library, a modern bridge, a tourist pier, a Sports Village and even an airport; 1,400 public projects worth US $6.7 billion. "Corruption City" is a video game in which everyone loses, where players can take a tour and become virtual citizens, learn about projects cost, contractors, locations, as well as how much each Colombian paid out of their own pocket and sign a petition demanding that authorities reactivate unfinished or abandoned projects.

Describe the strategy

We acknowledge that many Colombians recognize corruption as a significant issue, but unfortunately, most do not closely follow specific cases, leading to widespread apathy and resignation. To address this, we gathered journalistic investigations, official statistics, and public archives to present impactful data that highlights the real implications of corruption on individuals' lives in an easy-to-understand way. Our target audience was young people who rely heavily on social media for news and typically do not read newspapers but express opinions on national issues. Through gameplay, we aimed to help them better comprehend the impact of corruption and encourage them to take action. Our goal was to awake a sense of injustice for the works stolen from each Colombian and promote civic engagement. We made a clear call to action: become a citizen, demand that these cases be reopened and clarified, don’t allow this city progress!

Describe the execution

By using irony and gameplay we designed “Corruption City” a hypothetical dream city in a videogame, a fun virtual world that brings together some of the actual construction sites that were left half- finished or abandoned due to corruption from all regions of Colombia. The players can take a tour and search for unfinished public projects, learn about real facts of each construction, learn how much each Colombian paid out of their own pocket and become a virtual citizen. This unbelievable place is hosted on www.corruptioncity.com, a website that provides users with complete context. Visitors entered the game, access investigative articles by Publimetro and sign the Change.org petition to demand that authorities reactivate or clarify the status of these projects. The use of outdoor billboards, traditional and digital press, digital display, influencers and email marketing targeted publimetro’s database, gave to “Corruption City” the necessary visibility to reignite a national

List the results

On March 24, shortly ofter our series of articles around corruption, a commission was named by the Congress to study the cases. https://www.elespectador.com/politica/congreso-instalo-comision-para-hacerle-seguimiento-a-casos-de-corrupcion-comision-anticorrupcion/

24 Senate Representatives, now have the duty to make political controls for the corruption cases.

Corruption City now has citizens from 21 different countries.

Is there any cultural context that would help the jury understand how this work was perceived by people in the country where it ran?

Corruption is a longstanding issue in Colombia, where it permeates all levels of government and society, fueled by factors such as weak institutions, political instability, drug trafficking and violence. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index report, Colombia is one of the 100 countries that need to address this problem the most. Bribery, the diversion of public resources, and the use of public office for private gain are among the most common forms of corruption in the country. Sadly, talking about corruption has become a regular topic in this society, with daily headlines in the media exposing the mismanagement of public funds and unfinished public projects that could have improved the lives of millions. Despite protests about this shameful waste of public funds, little to no change occurs.

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