INITIATIVE NEUE SOZIALE MARKTWIRTSCHAFT Ambient, Case study VAT CHAOS by Serviceplan Berlin

VAT CHAOS

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Industry Business equipment & services, Corporate Image
Media Ambient, Case study
Market Germany
Agency Serviceplan Berlin
Art Director Julius Steffens
Copywriter Philipp Stute
Released April 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Integrated Campaign Led by Promotion and Activation
Advertiser: INITIATIVE NEUE SOZIALE MARKTWIRTSCHAFT
Product/Service: GERMAN VAT SYSTEM DEBATE
Agency: SERVICEPLAN BERLIN
Date of First Appearance: Apr 16 2010
Entrant Company: SERVICEPLAN BERLIN, GERMANY
Entry URL: http://www.dasrichtigetun.de/index/Steuern/Mehrwertsteuer.html
Chief Executive Officer: Hubertus Pellengahr (Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft)
Chief Executive Officer: Benedikt Goettert (Serviceplan)
Chief Executive Officer: Joerg Ihlau (Serviceplan)
Planner: Joachim Schoepfer (Serviceplan)
Consultant: Barbara Gerlach (Serviceplan)
Art Director: Julius Steffens (Serviceplan)
Copywriter: Philipp Stute (Serviceplan)
Consultant: Annika Skubich (Serviceplan)
Media placement: Key visual - Out-of-Home - 16 April 2010
Media placement: Press conference - Press - 16 April 2010
Media placement: Web-TV-Channel - Online - 16 April 2010
Media placement: Ad Campaign - 5 Ads - e.g Spiegel, FAZ, Sueddeutsche - 17-18 April 2010
Media placement: Online Advertising - e.g. Spiegel Online - 17-18 April 2010
Media placement: Facebook Game - Facebook - 19 April 2010
Media placement: Advertising Trailer - Out-of-Home - 19 April 2010
Media placement: Memory Game - Mailing - 20 April 2010
Media placement: Panel Discussion - Event - 20 April 2010

Describe the objective of the promotion.
The German tax system is inscrutable. Generally, commodities are taxed at 19%. However, the reduced VAT amounts to 7%. Some services and goods are even tax-free. This is unjust, it inhibits growth and it produces unnecessary administrative costs. Earlier last year Chancellor Merkel emphasised: “The VAT system remains as it is now. We will not touch its regulation these days.” Our client, the INSM, however, aimed at simplifying and straightening the German VAT system.

Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation.
Different VAT rates are not comprehensible. Frankly stated: They make no sense.
Different VATs are randomly chosen for different commodities. Carrots, for example are taxed at 7%. Carrot juice, however, at 19%. Spiny lobsters at 7%, crabs at 19%. Or was it the other way around? Anyway, there are plenty of such hair-raising cases. When examining the VAT by-laws we found something remarkable: A donkey is taxed at 19%. A mule only at 7%. This became the key visual of our campaign. We assigned or models to vivid, warm-blooded posters.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service.
As we focused on politicians and journalists, all our measures turned to their daily routines. That is, as these target groups systematically read national newspapers, we focused on full-page advertising. Differently styled motives and several public actions within the government district in Berlin supported the impression of a large-scale campaign to the target group - larger than it actually was.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results.
The campaign was mentioned in all national and many local newspapers as well as in weekly and political magazines. The two most important newscasts, “Tagesschau” and “Tagesthemen” reported in-depth on the simplification of the German VAT system, using our promotional products such as the VAT memory game.
The German VAT system became an important topic in the media scene and among the public. But most important: Chancellor Merkel changed her mind – she now supports the simplification of the VAT. The preparation for a reform of Germany’s VAT law is now underway guided by a scientific commission.