11: BRAND PURPOSE (Brand Activism)

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LIFEBOAT - The Experiment - Sea-Watch
Humanitarian Help

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LIFEBOAT - The Experiment - Sea-Watch - Humanitarian Help
Title of Entry: LIFEBOAT - The Experiment
Brand: Sea-Watch
Product/Service: Humanitarian Help
Client: Sea-Watch e.V.
Entrant Company: SERVICEPLAN GERMANY
Creative Agency: SERVICEPLAN GERMANY
Creative Director: Michael Wilk
Art Director: Florian Zwinge
Sector: 38275
Production Company: Markenfilm Hamburg
Producer: Acki Heldens, Daniel Farkas, Ole Bernhardi
Date of Release: 2019-04-24
Director: Skye Fitzgerald, Spin Films
DOP: Felix Tonnat
Notes: To regain awareness and media coverage for the refugee crisis on the Mediterranean and rescue organization Sea-watch we invited journalists, influencers and volunteers to participate in a one of its kind simulation to experience only a fragment of what it takes to cross the Mediterranean. Based on first hand experiences of refugees who survived, we set up a simulation attempting to remodel all conditions of a real escape. Darkness, waves, stress, anxiety, uncertainty - simulated in a maritime training center. All emotions were captured under very controlled circumstances by Oscar-nominated Director Skye Fitzgerald in the documentary-short “LIFEBOAT – The Experiment”. The documentary was hosted on a website, spread across all channels by selected influencer and classical media. To guarantee an initial spark of the conversation we invited a journalist of the biggest German newspaper to participate in the experiment. Facebook and Instagram Stories made it a trending topic online so that the issue got picked up internationally across the globe. "LIFEBOAT - The Experiment" brought back dynamism to the topic and emphasized that the ongoing refugee crisis is a problem that affects all of Europe. Most importantly it created access to the most human of our feelings: empathy. Target Audience We explicitly “casted” the boats-crew to activate certain kind of people spread over a very diverse range: from young to old, from men to women, from famous to totally infamous, from rich to poor, from religious and without following any religion, from long-time professionals to students. The diversity helped us to generate a wide range of emotionally honest statements plus showed the different challenges spread over the participants including pain, sickness, helplessness, confusion, fear and panic. Those statements helped us in the long-format documentation to address certain target groups: the students where interested in how a student took the conditions and a retired person was impressed to see other older people to join our simulation. Our media-mix finally helped to reach out for explicit target groups plus the broader German society: we had Germanys biggest newspaper onboard – literally. A journalist joined the experiment and wrote a full page about her experiences. Individual posts in digital media reach out for younger people. Objective To regain awareness and media coverage for the refugee crisis on the Mediterranean and rescue organization Sea-watch we invited journalists of Germanys biggest Newspaper and selected influencers to participate in a one of its kind simulation to experience only a fragment of what it really takes to cross the Mediterranean. Research The refugee crisis in the Mediterranean Sea was a largely discussed topic in 2014. It separated Germany into two main groups: one pro-refugees and the right wing party being absolutely against them. While the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean along the world’s deadliest border continuous, its media coverage decreased heavily. The topic simply lost its „news-value“ and with it Sea-watch’s vision and ongoing efforts fell silent. Language is revolution. If we were to turn the tide, the conversation must go on. “LIFEBOAT – The Experiment” re-creates a momentum and stresses the fact that the ongoing refugee crisis is not a single countries problem, but one that concerns all of Europe. Executed in Germany we strived for an overall international impulse for the refugee crisis. Our first-time campaign is truly a first-ever since all reports clearly had second hand information yet talking about the circumstances on such an escape. We recreated a piece of such a journey under controlled circumstances and yet received to most important of all: valid, honest and true emotional statements of all participants. A source of information yet undiscovered – a twist of perspective. The campaign generated a mindshift in society by re-enabling access to the most human of our feelings: Empathy. Planning “LIFEBOAT - the Experiment” is a one of its kind PR-Stunt. To regain awareness and media coverage for the refugee crisis on the Mediterranean Sea and rescue organization Sea-watch we invited journalists of Germanys biggest Newspaper and selected influencers to participate in a simulation to experience only a fragment of what it really takes to cross the Mediterranean. Later they were confronted with the real stories to understand the bigger picture. By putting them literally onto this journey they were able to understand the importance and urge of our society to act. And of course, the importance to talk about it again. The campaign was hosted online and was accessable for everybody. In on- and offline mediatouchpoints so as Out-of-home billboards, printads, facebook- & Instagram postings plus the deepdive into certain sideinformations via youtube or Instagram-stories where very helpful. We wanted to reach out for everybody, therefore we used a wide range of channels. Execution To make the refugee crisis a globally recognized problem again, we brought it closer; geographically and emotionally. Based on first hand experiences of five refugees who survived, we set up a simulation attempting to remodel all conditions of a real escape. Darkness, waves, stress, anxiety, uncertainty simulated in a wave-pool of a maritime training center in North Germany. In constant uncertainty, the participants experienced only a fraction of the strains of a real crossing. The psychological accompaniment of the entire experiment and the live direction of the Oscar-nominated director Sky Fitzgerald resulted in the experience report of a unique experience. Due to the immersive set construction, all participants were at the mercy of an abstract situation: the uncontrollable open sea. An elaborate light production extending to the horizon, fog machines and a situational-dramatic sound backdrop made many participants quickly forget place and time. Nine participants had to leave the simulation early. With the resulting documentation, the website and more than 1000 published articles, Sea-Watch e.V. triggered empathy and compassion in more than half a billion people and made the ongoing humanitarian crisis heard again. Results More than just a simulation „LIFEBOAT - The Experiment“ is a game changer for a NGO reaching out for global awareness & regaining media coverage. The experiment instantly became world news. After being covered by all major German news-channels international press from China to Canada picked it up, reaching half a billion people, trippling traffic to website and increased Brand interaction by 310%. But most importantly, with +1100 articles published, we gave people who suffer a voice to be heard again. Facebook, Instagram and twitter made it a trending topic online sparking an ongoing dialogue. All without spending a single euro in media. Next time we’d love to have the same passionate setup for the execution. Since it is not a German-only problem we’d love to execute the same simulation in further European countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Greece, etc. to active local press & media, too.
Editor: Dennis Fritz, Anton Reim
Sound Studio: Sebastian Oswald
Sound Engineer: Mike Schmidt, Thomas Keller
Post Production Company: nhbNEXT
Casting: Tina Vogt, Vogt Casting
URL Link (optional): https://www.lifeboatexperiment.org/
Other Credits: Alex Schill, Global Chief Creative Officer
Other Credits: Maximilian Florian Schöngen, Global Creative Strategist
Other Credits: Markus Maczey, Creative Managing Director
Other Credits: Philipp von Mauch, Developer / Screendesigner
Other Credits: Julien von Schultzendorff, Mike Friedland, Grading, nhbNEXT
Other Credits: Katharina Schoelzel, Katharina Bittner, PR, achtung!
Other Credits: Jochen Lenhardt, Managing Partner, MEDIAPLUS GERMANY
Other Credits: Michael Seidler, Photographer
Other Credits: Simone Herrmann, Managing Assistant
Other Credits: Sabine Jankowski, Fabian Klein, Martina Di Lorenzo, Leonard Lokai, Camera Operator