Type of entry: Sectors & Services
Category: Crisis and Issue Management
Advertiser: CATHOLIC CHURCH
Product/Service: RELIGIOUS WEBSITE
Agency: JOTABEQU GREY San José, COSTA RICA
Creative Director: Luis Diego Vásquez (jotabequ)
Creative Director: Santiago Cardone (jotabequ)
Online Content Creative: Nestor Villalobos (jotabequ)
Online Content Creative: Juan Diego Espinoza (jotabequ)
Project Manager: Enrique Ugalde (jotabequ)
Web Developer: Harold Soto (jotabequ)
Web Developer: Freddy Molina (jotabequ)
Graphic Designer: Héctor Acuña (jotabequ)
Describe the campaign/entry:
The biggest religious tradition in Costa Rica is the pilgrimage. It has been held since 1871 and it’s to pay tribute to Los Angeles Virgin, Patron Saint of the country.
Every 2nd of August more than 2 million people walk across the country on a pilgrimage to Cartago’s Church. In 2009, for the first time, the Pilgrimage was cancelled by the Ministry of Health because of the danger of a massive transmission of the AH1N1 Virus.
The challenge was: keeping alive a tradition that has been around for 228 years. The first goal was to give people the chance to do The Pilgrimage without any danger of infection.
The second objective was to achieve a modern and fun approach from the Catholic Church.
To achieve this, we created The Virtual Pilgrimage, a place where all people could easily walk to Cartago connecting directly from their Facebook or uploading a photo to the website.
The site was launched 5 days before 2nd of August. In 5 days only, thousands of people and mainstream media in the country help dramatically and spontaneously to share the message and create awareness about the opportunity given by The Virtual Pilgrimage.
Describe the brief from the client:
Giving a whole country the option of keeping alive a tradition of 228 years and change the perception that the Catholic Church is boring and distant.
The goal was that on 2 August, the day of The Pilgrimage Costa Ricans had another option to pay tribute to Los Angeles Virgin.
Have an impact on social networks and through freemedia to reinforce the key message.
The inclusion of the Catholic Church in the digital world caused surprise on people, and it became an inspiration for many other companies and brands to explore the possibilities offered by the Internet.
During the 5 days that the website was online, it received 295,000 visits with an average stay on page of 7 minutes, something never seen before in a local page.
Costa Rican residents in 46 countries were part of the pilgrimage.
Extensive free media coverage of major television and radio stations, social networking and blogging.
It also changed the traditional and distant image of the Catholic Church and managed to keep alive a religious tradition which today has 228 years without interruption.
The original idea was to launch the site five days before the conclusion of the pilgrimage. The site was promoted through social networks like Twitter and Facebook. The site would be online for a week and closed on August 2, the same day that The Pilgrimage to the Virgin of Los Angeles is held.
The agency and the client set a PR plan to have the same speech to the media.
We used the radio station of the Catholic Church to promote access to the site and also the priests across the country received a statement explaining that it was the site and asking to be promoted during the celebration of Masses of the previous days August 2.
Everything went according to the original plan and did not have to make major modifications to the communication strategy.
The Pilgrimage was cancelled 5 days before the event took place, because of the danger of massive transmission of the AH1N1 Virus. More than a million of Costa Ricans could not attend the event.
The Catholic Church has always been pigeonholed in a very traditional context. People have moved away from it, especially young people that are less interested in the messages given. We decided to make an effort working side by side with the Church so that the pilgrimage would be performed using a new and untraditional tool. This meant a change in the traditional perception of the church.
By taking a few days to launch the Virtual Pilgrimage we decided to spread the message initially only by social networks, then made a plan to potentiate the same pathway through much of freemedia to generate greater exposure and further promotion of the message.
The Promo / PR Ad titled VIRTUAL PILGRIMAGE was done by Jotabequ Grey advertising agency for brand: Catholic Church in Costa Rica. It was released in the Jun 2010.