Humanitarian Labyrinth
ECHO is the European Commission’s department responsible for financing humanitarian aid offered to millions of victims of natural or man-made disasters in countries outside the EU. As the intervention campaigns undertaken by ECHO are financed from EU budget, an important phase in their preparation is that of raising awareness among the public of EU member states with regard to their importance.
Every year, new members of the European Community shift from the position of aid receivers to that of donors. In 2010 Romania’s turn has come to discover and understand the vital role EU has in helping humanitarian crisis victims.
Our objectives:increaseECHO awareness among young people and opinion leaders; attract massive media support through lobby & a creative and consistent approach; attract two powerful partners to sustain the campaign pro bono: one NGO and one local celebrity;
We based our strategy on thorough research: Eurostat statistics, materials provided by ECHO and a study unrolled in partnership with the Romanian Red Cross regarding ECHO awareness in Romania.
Strategy - Facts Speak Louder Than Words!
Fear, pain, anger are infinitely more intense at an emotional level. If a word can sound empty, the noise of a machine gun spreading terror doesn’t leave anyone unaffected. Hence, empathy has been the backbone of this campaign – ECHO’s message was transmitted through images, sounds and emotions in events, ATL campaign, mass media & social media and through endorsement stunt.
1. Teasing
Bucharest has itself become the stage of disaster; a series of guerilla actions made people subjects of unusual sensory experiences: loudspeakers have been installed on utility poles in big cross-roads, subjecting passers-by to the terror of threat, from the apocalyptic sound of a tsunami to machine gun rounds or the menacing roar of an earthquake. People’s reactions have been videotaped and viralized through, blogs & addressed e-mailing. Impressive video montages of disasters have been displayed on big OOH screens in crowded outdoor areas but also in metro stations, bars and restaurants, fitness and medical centers, all creating for Bucharest citizens a complete image of living in a disaster area.
2. Disaster Night - during the White Night of Museums, a famous traditional event where thousands of youngsters participate each year, the 4 most visited Bucharest museums hosted interactive exhibition modules which highlighted images & sounds from four disaster-hit zones: Earthquake, Armed Conflict, Hunger and Flood. Red Cross volunteers offered information materials.
3. The Humanitarian Labyrinth
The last stage of the campaign reunited all four exhibition modules in a Humanitarian Labyrinth, placed for an entire week in the biggest Bucharest Park, displaying impressive larger-than-life photographs of the 4 disasters zones.
The labyrinth was inaugurated through a media event which reunited journalists in a typical Red Cross refugee tent. Catering? Tea, pretzels and rice milk pudding in metal tableware, exactly as in disaster-stricken areas.
4. The Humanitarian Experiment - Lucian Mandruta TV Celebrity, Refugee!
The famous TV celebrity Lucian Mandruta joined our campaign pro bono and expressed his own manifesto starting with the press conference, when he engaged in a unique experiment - living the life of a refugee for two full days in the Red Cross tent, in the middle of the park, with no access to running water or heat and receiving rationalized food and drinks.
Over 10,000 young people have been directly exposed to the message of the campaign in one single night, during Night of the Museums; 10,800 people visited the ECHO Humanitarian Labyrinth in the park; 31 journalists attended the media event.
Lucian Mandruta and the Romanian Red Cross joined ECHO, helping us pro bono during the entire campaign.
144 press materials have been generated (an average of 2.3 press materials/ day) and the campaign had free media exposure (OOH, press, radio, Internet, TV) of over 245,000 Euro.