Stadtreinigung Case study TRASHCAM HAMBURG by Scholz & Friends Berlin

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Industry Public awareness
Media Case study
Market Germany
Agency Scholz & Friends Berlin
Executive Creative Director Matthias Spaetgens
Art Director Christoph Keller, Sebastian Frese
Photographer Hans-Peter Strahl, Werner Buenning, Roland Wilhelm, Max Soller, Matthias Schroeder, Michael Pfohlmann, Hans-Dieter Braatz, Nicole Nordt-Wulf, Peter Hermann Schammer, Bernd Leguttky
Released June 2012


Cannes Lions 2012
PR Lions Best Use of Media Relations Silver

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Technique
Category: Best Use of Media Relations
Product/Service: CITY CLEANING
Chief Creative Officer: Martin Pross (Scholz & Friends)
Executive Creative Director: Matthias Spaetgens (Scholz & Friends)
Creative Director/Copywriter/Photographer: Mirko Derpmann (Scholz & Friends)
Creative Director/Photographer: Christoph Blaschke ()
Art Director: Christoph Keller/Sebastian Frese (Scholz & Friends)
Graphics: Dustin Przibilla (Scholz & Friends)
Photographer: Roland Wilhelm/Max Soller ()
Photographer: Matthias Schroeder ()
Photographer: Hans-Peter Strahl ()
Photographer: Michael Pfohlmann ()
Photographer: Hans-Dieter Braatz ()
Photographer: Nicole Nordt-Wulf ()
Photographer: Peter Hermann Schammer ()
Photographer: Werner Buenning ()
Photographer: Bernd Leguttky ()
Postproduction: Fabian Behrendt (Scholz & Friends)
Account Manager: Sarah Westphal (Scholz & Friends)
Agency Producer: Sandro Buschke/Benito Schumacher (Scholz & Friends)
Filmproduction: Mario Jakob ()
Filmproduction: Daniel Klessig (Scholz & Friends)
Describe the campaign/entry
The Hamburg sanitation department does a great job. But the media usually ignore the daily work of the garbagemen as long as everything runs smooth. That's why you only notice the binmen when they are on strike and the garbage is piling up. We were asked to generate positive media for the troops in orange, to show their dedication and their love for the city. So, in a city full of culture and arts the garbage collectors became artists. We transformed two 1.100 litre trashcontainers into giant pinhole cameras, just by putting large sheets of photographic paper in the back and drilling a small hole into the front. With this 'trashcams' we asked the garbagemen to photograph their favourite places.
They produced black and white prints of stunning beauty that where presented at the renowned Bucerius Art Forum opposite the Hamburg town hall. The pictures took the media by storm, spreading the unique view of the garbage collectors that know every backyard of the city. ZEIT Magazin one of the biggest weeklies focusing on culture started with a 3-page spread of the trashcam pictures, followed by BILD, the biggest German tabloid and more than 100 newspapers, national television, apps and blogs. With little more than a garbage container and a roll of photopaper the trashcam project generated a huge media response and overachieved in the main task: we did not only make the people of Hamburg aware of their binmen, we made them proud.
Describe the brief from the client
The goal was to achieve as much presence in the mass media as possible with a small budget, an irresistible story and strong pictures, getting the people of Hamburg to seeing their city cleaners from a different perspective by showing the special view you can only develop when you are out in the streets every day.
The Trashcam Project performed in the media far better than expected by the client and the agency. The exclusive preview in ZEIT magazine reached 1.34m readers nationwide. A total of 15.2m contacts in print and television was accompanied by more than 240m visits in online media.
Creative Execution
We started with a call for entries asking the garbagemen of Hamburg for their favourite places. Then we spent two weeks with the binmen finding the best places and views and shooting the trashcam pics.
The best motives where developed 1:1 (106x80 cm) and exhibited. 3 weeks before the exhibition we started to pitch the idea to the most influential art editors. We decided to go with ZEIT Magazin as it has by far the highest circulation (1.34m readers) and is targeted to people interested in lifestyle, fashion, design and culture.
The exhibition drew local and national media alike. There was no change in plan but what was intended to strengthen the bond between the people of Hamburg and their garbagemen soon became a countrywide media phenomenon.
The Hamburg sanitation department is keeping one of the most beautiful German cities clean. This goes unnoticed unless the fees rise or the workers are on strike. Every time something goes wrong the sanitation workers make frontpage news.
In the past years the situation has become even tougher since private companies are bidding against the sanitation department. They needed positive headlines to show the dedication, the love and the care of their workers. And they needed to prove that the Hamburg garbageman belongs to Hamburg like the Alster and the philharmonics.
The strategy was to generate credibility for the artistic value of the project in the first step and to play the story with this backing from feuilleton to tabloid. The pictures were published a week before the exhibition in ZEIT Magazin, a cultural supplement to German weekly DIE ZEIT. ZEIT Magazin is one of the most influential German magazines in terms of culture and the arts.
Directly after this preview the pictures were distributed via DPA, the biggest German news agency. This channel generated massive attention for the project. 2 days later the pictures were presented at an exclusive vernissage in one of Hamburg´s most important contemporary art museums, the Bucerius Artforum. At this point national television picked up the story. For all media we provided extensive making-of footage, pictures and the stories of the garbagemen and their favourite places.